Monday, February 06, 2006

non-cartoon violence

The uproar over the Muslim cartoons- is it deserved?

I've been thinking about this for a few days now, and I've come to several conclusions.

--First, I think it's fine that Muslims are upset. How many times have Catholics been offended by something in the press, media, print or photo, such as the movie Dogma or the TV show Priest or numerous other items? Far too often, if you ask me. So it's perfectly understandable that they're upset.

--The different is Catholics don't go out rioting and killing people and chanting "death to France" (or whatever) when we're offended. We don't call for uprisings and there are no riots in the streets. There are peaceful way to protest--don't buy the paper, boycott the advertisers, whatever. Killing people and raiding embassies probably isn't the best way to get across your message.

--Some have said that free speech isn't really free- that it only goes so far and shouldn't offend people's religion. Ehhhh. I tend to disagree. Yes, free speech can lead to abhorrent things--the KKK, pornography, etc. And there are limits on free speech (see Holmes' "fire in a theater" opinion). But we cannot really set too many limits on free speech else it is not free. Something always offends someone--it's the way of the beast. And tactful cartoonists and writers will take certain cultural sensibilities into acocunt. But we can't limit the press to what 'might' offend people, or what's the point of a free society?

Those are my thoughts...feel free to add your own....

1 comment:

andrea said...

I have been thinking about this a lot recently, because (a) it's all that's been on CNN and (b) I am in one of the countries that reprinted the cartoons and is therefore in this too, although not nearly as bad as Dennmark of course.

I agree that the cartoons are offensive, and I think they're "inappropriate," like the kind of things that your parents teach you is not the right thing to say about someone. So I think responsible artists/papers wouldn't write/print something so rude.

HOWEVER! You can't limit free speech! It's soooo important that people can express ANY opinion, even rude and insulting ones. The government doesn't and shouldn't have any control over what's in those papers, because of the freedom of speech/press/whatever.

Plus, setting fire to the Danish embassy and having other violent protests (where, yesterday, a few people died) is completely inappropriate. Of course, feel free to express your distaste for the cartoons, but do it peacefully. And no posters like "Europe, your 9/11 will come" because that's a threat, which is different than free speech.

One more thing.... they had the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S. on CNN about the controversy, and were showing him the anti-Jewish cartoons that were in Saudi newspapers which were a lot worse than the anti-Muslim ones. Needless to say, he didn't have much to say, other than that it's all inappropriate. Exactly. It's all not right, but hey Muslims, you're not any more special than the rest of us.