More Cartoon Madness: Hypocrisy?
From my comments on SDA
Now I know a lot of you support the decision of Denmark's Jyllands-Posten to publish the Mohammed cartoons. I do too. Because of this, we are being criticized by many who see this as evidence of crass hypocrisy on our part.
I can see why some people would think this; but there is a very important difference that shouldn't be overlooked here: many of the Danish cartoons were innocuous. They were also printed to prove a point: you shouldn't be afraid for your life to draw a cartoon in a free and open western democracy (Y!PH [the Sheaf cartoonist] take note, these people stood up for your rights by doing what they did).
The cartoons from The Muse
and The Sheaf
have no such underlying goals. The only purpose of both cartoons is for the cartoonists to smugly congratulate like-minded individuals on their supposed "moral superiority" to Christians. I'm not going to comment on who's got the moral high ground here. That's not my intent. These cartoons were designed specifically to offend. As I've noted before on my blog, offending to make a valid point is one thing, but offending just for the sake of offending is quite another.
I can completely see why Muslims have gotten upset over two of the real cartoons Jyllands-Posten printed (as opposed to the faked ones designed to stir up mobs in the Middle East). And to be honest, I can sympathize with Muslims here. I get annoyed when people criticize my religion, even if they are making a valid point in doing so. I understand where moderate Muslims are coming from. What some people are missing is this: conservative bloggers aren't supporting Jyllands-Posten because they hate Islam. They're supporting Jyllands-Posten because of the violent reaction to the cartoons in the middle east (and yes, for the most part we're quite aware this has much to do with the politics of the region. Islam is simply the justification used by these rioters). There is no hypocrisy on the part of conservative bloggers when it comes to this issue - we support freedom of speech in the face of oppression and violence, but by and large we do not condone the random slurring of the religious beliefs of one billion people. And neither should The Muse
or The Sheaf
when it comes to Christianity. It's all about respect.
5 Old Comments:
I support an individuals right to randomly publish insults with no larger commentary other than the insult. I also think that hate speech needs to be defended. If people are allowed to publish hate speech then issues over offensive remarks won't even make the news. Our freedom of speech is deteriorating.
"These cartoons were designed specifically to offend."
So? Are you saying cartoonists shouldn't be allowed to offend people?
No. Read the post again.
I did, but I still don't know what you want done about the whole thing. An apology from the MUSE? A boycott? Violence on the streets of St. John's? I agree the comic was disgusting (although I have to say the only thing genuinely offensive about the MUSE comic was the title).
"They're supporting Jyllands-Posten because of the violent reaction to the cartoons in the middle east
I'm not so sure about that. I and many other bloggers supported the Jyllands-Posten long before any violence occurred. The controversy over the cartoons has been bubbling at least since September of last year, and the violent protests only took place in February if I'm not mistaken.
"They were also printed to prove a point: you shouldn't be afraid for your life to draw a cartoon in a free and open western democracy."
I'm not sure about this either. Do you think the cartoonists knew what was coming? (the threats, the violent protests?) I don't think anyone can do anything more than guess as to what the motives of an obscure rightwing Danish rag or the MUSE really were. To prove a point? To poke fun at religion? To show a distaste of certain religions? To hate-monger? To test freedom of speech laws? It could have been any or none of these.
Good blog btw.
Thank you kindly! Some points of information though:
Jyllands-Posten is not a rag: It's got the highest subscription rates in Denmark.
The Muse should not have printed the cartoons in the first place. An apology will suffice, instead of excuses for the cartoon's printing.
The reason Jyllands-Posten requested the cartoons is because when a book on Mohammed was being written, no one wanted to draw him because of fears that they would be harmed or killed if they did. Thus, Jyllands-Posten requested the cartoons to prove that no one should fear for their lives in the west, where we cherish our freedom of speech.
As for the motives of the Muse, one need only look at its history of treating Christianity. If that doesn't tell you anything about their motives, just look at the title of the cartoon.