Tuesday, February 07, 2006

More cartoon madness...

So now Iran's biggest newspaper is calling for a cartoon contest to offend Jews, because if this is the new wave, then they "don't want to be left behind." Sheesh!

OK, look--the Danish cartoon may have been offensive, crude, rude, whatever, but it was making a political statement. It's intent wasn't, "gee, how can I insult Muslims today?" The cartoonist was making a satirical point about fundamentalist interpretations of Islam. No matter what you think of the result, that was (most likely) the intent. What this paper is doing is purposefully trying to offend people. It's not real free speech. One of the cartoons is purportedly Hitler in bed with Anne Frank. This serves no editorial purpose (and, if Iran's president sees it, it'll pretty much undermine the whole Holocaust denial thing, since everyone knows Anne Frank died in a concentration camp) and is just out to offend. That's not what free speech is. Free speech usually proves a point and has a purpose in the press. These cartoons don't serve any purpose except a childish urge to "get back" at the people who have "wronged" them. Another example of the differences between insulting Jews and Christians--we don't hold cartoon contests specifically to insult others. We usually do more constructive things.

This whole thing is reaching the point of the ridiculous. Riots are all over the world because of a cartoon that was drawn to prove a point-- a point that is being seen throughout the world. If fundamentalist Islam wasn't violent, then the cartoon wouldn't have resonated. I would think that if you want to prove to the world that you're not what they think you are, you shouldn't engage in the same behavior the cartoon was commenting on in the first place.

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