2/13/2008

one stupidstorm was not enough! we must have more!

I confess to not caring about what the Danes do:

Danish newspapers have reprinted one of several caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad which sparked violent protests across the Muslim world two years ago.

They say they wanted to show their commitment to freedom of speech after an alleged plot to kill one of the cartoonists behind the drawings.

Three suspects were held in Denmark on Tuesday "to prevent a murder linked to terrorism", officials said.

The cartoons were originally published by Jyllands-Posten in September 2005.

Danish embassies were attacked around the world and dozens died in riots that followed.

Jyllands-Posten and many other major newspapers - including Politiken and Berlingske Tidende - reprinted the caricature in their Wednesday editions.

The cartoon depicts Muhammad wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse.


They have every right to republish the cartoons, but that doesn't absolve them of their role in any violence that may result. Provocation is not cost-free. With rights, come responsibilities. This is analogous to yelling Fire in a crowded theater and while I certainly hope that nothing ill comes of it, I am not going to gnash my teeth about my faith if some louts decide to accept the invitation and bait from Jyllands-Posten et al. It's not my concern, and I wash my hands of it.

UPDATE: Indscribe weighs in:

The caricature is not just offensive because Islam forbids pictorial depiction of Prophet, but also because the 'bomb-shaped turban' in the caricature is a fascistic attempt and such hatespeak is unimaginable in a continent where the mention of Holocaust and doubts on its veracity can land a person in jail.

Clearly, when it comes to Islam, things are different. Hurting sentiments no longer remains an issue. Given the kind of furore the cartoon controversy had generated in the past, the irresponsible reprinting can severely hurt the process of reconciliation between Muslim countries and Europe.


That's the central point - that the supposed "free speech" that the Danes purport to hold sacred does not in fact exist. To claim then that there is soe higher purpose to their provocation and deliberate insult - to muslims, not to Islam - is a lie.

The vast majority of muslims will look at Denmark and see something rotten indeed. That denmark is revealed to be a third-world country in terms of attitude, despite its first-world status in geography, is the ultimate consequence of their actions. That is the true consequence of this supposed fight for free speech to which they pretend to aspire.

4 comments:

Oper said...

Hey, nice blog, think I'll have a wander around.
I commented in response to your angry commenter on the other thread, I think it's stuck in the mod queue. Hope it comes through soon.

One or two things here though that I'd take issue with here though:

Quote "They have every right to republish the cartoons, but that doesn't absolve them of their role in any violence that may result"

I'm not sure anyone is to blame for violence that is merely inspired by hearing of their actions.
If I'd heard about the concentration camps in Germany 1943 and gone on a riot in England, killing several and causing violence, I don't think that the Nazis are to blame. I did that. They're only to blame for the evil inherent in their own actions. The same goes for the cartoonists.

Quote: "The caricature is not just offensive because Islam forbids pictorial depiction of Prophet, but also because the 'bomb-shaped turban' in the caricature is a fascistic attempt and such hatespeak is unimaginable in a continent where the mention of Holocaust and doubts on its veracity can land a person in jail"

Well you say that. But it's not. In the recent episode of south park where they were not allowed to show a picture of Mohammed, they showed Jesus, crapping all over the place, on himself, on George Bush, on all sorts of people.
That's free speech. You might not like it but people are allowed to say it.

The holocaust is a special case, though ideally it would not be any different, but due to the gravity of the events, and as they are so recent, and also because Europe fears and hates Nazism ~(on the whole), an exception has been made.
In time, this will pass.

Aziz said...

I dont have moderation of my comments, so maybe there was a technical snafu?

I don't think your example is analogous. A better example would be someone going into a racial ghetto and inciting people to riot. That's what i meant by the "role" of the Danish media - a provocative one, not a principled one.

You quoted Indscribe,not me - but his point is correct, Holocaust denial is in fact illegal there, and thats mor of an infrinement on speech than rioters might enable.

South park was not prevented from showing the Prophet, and had they done so it would have been within their right. They chose not to do so. I suspect I am more of a free speech zealot than you realize. But I insist that the same rules apply.

Oper said...

Yep, that was it, I've reposted it.

Also, yes, I was just responding indiscriminately to bits that I didn't agree with. I tend to do that, if I agree then I'll nod, but if I don't then I'll start typing. I like to think that it's from an impulse to discuss, understand and preferably resolve disagreements, rather than just a tendency to argue. :)

Are the Danish media printing this and distributing it to people likely to riot? If not, then I'd see it as more analagous to me making a speech, and people in a ghetto hearing about it and rioting. I didn't incite them, they acted of their own free will after hearing about it.

Quote: "Holocaust denial is in fact illegal there, and thats mor of an infrinement on speech than rioters might enable"

I'm not sure what you mean here. Could you explain?
In general response, I know that it is illegal, and I gave reasons why they made this exception to free speech. They might not be good reasons, but they aren't just giving out random special treatment. And as I said - no other religions are protected from free speech - as illustrated by Jesus on southpark, and many others like Vishnu on the Simpsons, Buddha on southpark.

And on Southpark trying to show a picture of the prophet - there was a two part special satirising people who moderate what they say in fear of violent protests - at the end of this they showed a segment that was meant to have the Prophet in it. However instead there was a black box covering him, censoring the image, with a disclaimer saying that the shows creators wished to show the image, but that the Network (Comedy Central I believe) would not let them. They were censored not because it was illegal, but because the network feared blacklash.
Personally I was in favour of the censorship, since as I said in the other thread I think that choosing that image when you know how Muslims feel about it is just dickish. However I was not in favour of their reason for doing it, since I don't think that violent rioting or angry threats are a civilised way of getting things done, and I think capitulating to that sort of thing just encourages more groups to display that sort of behaviour.

gedd said...

Holocaust denial is illegal in some European countries, but not in Denmark. So your entire argument is bogus.