February 22, 2006

Middle East > About those Danish Cartoons

I haven't said much about them because I'm not doing a lot of political blogging lately. The riots in response to the Danish cartoons help put the world of radicalized Islam in sharper relief. It's become increasingly obvious that Islamic terrorist groups and the Arab street aren't just violent towards Israel or the United States; they're violent towards anyone that undermines their fundamentalist thinking. People whose comfrotable worldview allowed them to cluck their tongues at Israel and the U.S. are finding it harder to feel comfortable in the wake of the East Timor bombings, the London bombings, the Madrid bombings, the Turkish mosque attacks, the French riots, and the current riots inspired by Dutch cartoons.

I am completely amazed at the American and other media outlets that have backed down from showing the cartoons. They've completely forfeited their journalistic integrity by censoring themselves in the name of political correctness. The next time there's a piece of art along the lines of "Piss Christ" that offends Christians they're going to have ensorcell some fancy rationalizations for why they're being less sensitive to Christians than to Muslims. As it is, it's hard to see this as anything other than a double standard.

Tim Blair:

In 1997, columnist Jill Singer argues for the display of Piss Christ: "We ... need to understand the value of artistic freedom."

In 2006, columnist Jill Singer argues against the display of Prophet toons: "Who wants a totally uncensored media run by those devoid of judgment, taste or social responsibility?"

Jim Treacher:

At the risk of being a bit vulgar, what a huge motherfucking crock of camel shit. "We felt the images... would not hinder our readers from making an informed opinion"? First of all, you mean you thought not publishing the images wouldn't hinder the readers from making an informed opinion.

More Tim Blair:

Journalists can spend entire careers mouthing off about their commitment to free speech without ever having the chance to properly demonstrate it. I once had a theory that the lack of repression in modern democracies drove journalists to invent McCathyesque threats, so much did they crave an opportunity to stare down those who would silence them. Their ideal imagined foes (I’m guessing): brutish religious fundamentalists opposed to progressive notions on women’s rights, homosexuality, art, and education.

Problem is, those imagined foes were always named Falwell or Robertson or Nile (or John Paul II). Faced with fundamentalist religious demands from people bearing less familiar titles, however, the media froze. Missed your chance, journalists!

And one last Tim Blair, contrasting the reluctance of media outlets to show the Danish cartoons with their lack of reluctance or soul-searching in showing new Abu Ghraib photos.

Note again the willingness of the media to excite Muslim anger in cases where none of that anger might be directed towards the media.
Posted by lesjones | TrackBack


"The riots in response to the Danish cartoons help put the world of radicalized Islam in sharper relief."

Sorry, Les. There's one word too many in your sentence above. It starts with "radical" and ends in -"ed." If you study Islam you will find there's nothing radical or fundamentalist about these followers of the religion of pieces. It is Islam, plain and simple, that is the problem.

Posted by: perpster at February 23, 2006
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