Wednesday, February 13, 2008

one stupidstorm was not enough! we must have more!

I confess to not caring about what the Danes do:

Danish newspapers have reprinted one of several caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad which sparked violent protests across the Muslim world two years ago.

They say they wanted to show their commitment to freedom of speech after an alleged plot to kill one of the cartoonists behind the drawings.

Three suspects were held in Denmark on Tuesday "to prevent a murder linked to terrorism", officials said.

The cartoons were originally published by Jyllands-Posten in September 2005.

Danish embassies were attacked around the world and dozens died in riots that followed.

Jyllands-Posten and many other major newspapers - including Politiken and Berlingske Tidende - reprinted the caricature in their Wednesday editions.

The cartoon depicts Muhammad wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse.

They have every right to republish the cartoons, but that doesn't absolve them of their role in any violence that may result. Provocation is not cost-free. With rights, come responsibilities. This is analogous to yelling Fire in a crowded theater and while I certainly hope that nothing ill comes of it, I am not going to gnash my teeth about my faith if some louts decide to accept the invitation and bait from Jyllands-Posten et al. It's not my concern, and I wash my hands of it.

UPDATE: Indscribe weighs in:

The caricature is not just offensive because Islam forbids pictorial depiction of Prophet, but also because the 'bomb-shaped turban' in the caricature is a fascistic attempt and such hatespeak is unimaginable in a continent where the mention of Holocaust and doubts on its veracity can land a person in jail.

Clearly, when it comes to Islam, things are different. Hurting sentiments no longer remains an issue. Given the kind of furore the cartoon controversy had generated in the past, the irresponsible reprinting can severely hurt the process of reconciliation between Muslim countries and Europe.

That's the central point - that the supposed "free speech" that the Danes purport to hold sacred does not in fact exist. To claim then that there is soe higher purpose to their provocation and deliberate insult - to muslims, not to Islam - is a lie.

The vast majority of muslims will look at Denmark and see something rotten indeed. That denmark is revealed to be a third-world country in terms of attitude, despite its first-world status in geography, is the ultimate consequence of their actions. That is the true consequence of this supposed fight for free speech to which they pretend to aspire.

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