[DEBATE] : Re: Better claim it as savage
MFleshman at aol.com
MFleshman at aol.com
Thu Feb 9 14:37:52 GMT 2006
OK, M, but I found it rather well-stated.
So, apart from this particular problem, what is your general
who has formulated a position that you prefer?
Clearly those cartoons have touched a widely and justifiably held sense of
grievance throughout the Muslim world, but I have to believe that the real
issue is not the cartoons
or of their derogatory content but the political context -- invasion,
occupation (Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq at least), torture and murder, repressive
comprador regimes, marginalization and alienation of Muslim expat communities
and culture in the West -- into which the cartoons arrive.
I saw yesterday a UK press report, for example, that described
Brit troops in Afghanistan, coming to the rescue of Danish troops
threatened by the cartoon protests. The article missed the
point, which was not the cartoons or the protests, but that, 4 years
after the overthrow of the Taliban and long after the US
lost interest in Osama, UK and Danish troops are still occupying
Afghanistan. Why were they there to be protested against in the first
place? Not all grievances are equally equally grievous
. Redress the substantive injuries and I think the cartoons pass with a few
perfunctory denunciations from some hypocritical governments and some
dignified expressions of disgust and dismay from the Muslim community
in Denmark. or so I would hope.
But I think there are valid free speech issues involved. when the
publisher of a children's book on tolerance can't find illustrators
because they fear violent attack -- and who can blame them after the
Salmon Rushdie and the murder of the Dutch artist theo van gogh
-- there is a real problem.
Were those cartoons the best way to respond to these ugly incidents
of violent suppression of free expression? no. But Simon Jenkins'
solution --censor yourself before the government does -- is far worse. It
guarantees and justifies the suffocation of free speech. If ridicule of
is to be off-limits why not politicians, or entertainers or lawyers too?
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