Friday, February 17, 2006

freedom of speech

Jumping on board a bit late here I know (so what's new there?) but how crazy has this stuff about the Danish cartoons of Mohammed been?
Being a bleeding heart liberal like myself is a tricky thing in this situation - freedom of speech or defending a minority? Which way to turn? Our two big causes in conflict , it's almost enough to make us hit the organic, fairtrade, recycled bottle.....
Don't get me wrong, I think the fucker who drew those cartoons is a twat, how could have not known what would happen? The images he drew not only, by portraying the prophet of Islam as a terrorist, portrayed all Muslims as terrorists, but also went against one of the central beliefs of Islam, that men should not make 'graven images' of anything on earth or in heaven. (Yes, it's in the Koran and the Old Testament, but it's one of the many commandments that Christians seem to have decided to ignore, love thy neighbour being another.) People have died - and what was his point, that some Muslims have engaged in terrorist activity - well, duh, why not just write that, actually say it? There are hundreds of these images, which I'm not going to provide a link to, because I don't want to encourage anyone to bother looking at them, each as pointless as the last. They have no merit - they aren't satire, they have no real message or corrective impulse to them. All they make me think is - what was the point. The 'artist' will probably spend the rest of his life in hiding, and he's achieved noithing more than making the world a worse place.
BUT, 'behead those that insult islam' - ummm, no. The guy is a cunt, but let's not go that far. He insulted your religion, and he shouldn't have, and no newspaper of any integrity should ever have printed them, but encouraging violence against them? Islam is a relgion of peace and brotherhood, and it is being destroyed b y these more memorable images of exremism and viloence.
This is the ultimate case of 'It's not what you said but the way you said it' (How many times have boyfriends said that to me after a row?). Any religion should open for criticism, but that criticism should be constructed in the best possible way to get the message across, which in this case, in my humble position, was not to draw the Prophet with a bomb under his hat.
Freedom of speech is only viable when people have respoect for one another.....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

to my mind, what you mean by "respect" is just self-censorship, which, it could be argued, is just as bad (or worse) than state censorship.

1:47 PM  

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