Monday, February 06, 2006

My 2 cents worth on the Mohammed cartoons . . .

Did the newspapers have the right to publish the cartoons?
-- Absolutely

Was it silly of them to do so?
-- Silly at best. At worst, malicious.

Does that mean that this is justified?
-- Of course not. (Duh)

Some maintain that we should bear in mind the context in which the cartoons were originally published. What do you say to that?
--That this whole exercise is simply an innocent exploration of the limits of the freedom of the press I seriously doubt. The intent was to provoke outrage among Muslims--and in particular, to provoke extremist reactions of the kind we're seeing in Syria and Lebanon--just so the anti-Muslim/anti-immigration Right can say: "See? Told you." (I can't prove this, of course.) And it has paid off brilliantly: a neocon Danish newspaper publishes images that are bound to (indeed, are designed to) offend Muslims, and ordinary Muslims everywhere are asked to apologise for the consequences. (Sheesh! They're not even allowed to be offended!)

Anything else to add?
Yeah. Fundies--of whatever religious stripe--go to hell! (Ed Brayton has a great post about the doctrine of religious exceptionalism as regards free speech.)