Saturday, April 15, 2006

Thoughts on the Danish Cartoons

Another piece from way back I wanted to get out.

Here is Bruce Ramsey's article on the Muhammad cartoons in Denmark. Here is a link to the cartoons.

My feeling is that, in essence, much of the controversy here is ridiculous. I agree that I would be circumspect about printing cartoons that actually make fun of Muhammad or that portray him in a disrespectful way, because even aside from concerns of safety I don't generally approve of being disrespectful toward the deeply held religious beliefs of people who take their faith seriously (i.e. I have no problem poking fun at people who belong to a faith with no real beliefs, e.g. Unitarian-Universalitsts, or who are ecumenical to the point of absurdity). (I will point out if I think that a person's faith is wrong, or in some cases, ridiculous, but I think that this can be done in a respectful way).

However, when a person is insulted merely by the portrayal of a religious figure, that's a different story. It is one thing for a person to feel that it goes too far to print a picture of Muhammad with a bomb for a turban, but it is far different to be upset at the cartoon which shows him with a crescent moon around his face and a star for his eye.

In any case, though, it doesn't excuse anyone for threatening violence because they are offended by the cartoons.

Here and here are Pat Buchanan's thoughts on the isse, where he basically see Islam as an ally (incorrectly, in my view) against the secualr nihilists.

In any case, I would not have condemned the papers for printing the cartoons. I would condmen those who threaten violence against the newspapers; this would include not only many of the Muslim protestors but also some of the European governments that threatened to investigate the papers, as if printing such cartoons is or might be against the law.

In any case, the reason I have not shown the cartoons myself, or linked to them until now, is that I didn't want to link to them merely to "stick it" to the Muslims. I know some Muslims whom I consider friends, and I did not want to link to or publicize the cartoons in a gratuitous way, just to deliberately offend people, which I think too many people did at the time. I will link, however, for reference when it is appropriate, as it is now.

I am perfectly willing, however, to insult people who need insulting. So those who threaten violence against those papers for printing those cartoons - they ought to be deported or incarcerated immediately. And if one of them actually kills someone over it - they should be executed with a dynamite suppository.

That is all.

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