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Shall We Live under de facto Shari'a?

That's the question posed by my latest media analysis column for Rocky Mountain News. Also in today's News, publisher John Temple suggests that fear of Islamist terrorists is a key reason why American newspapers aren't publishing the cartoons. Editorial page editor Vincent Carroll has lambasted the New York Times for its refusal to print the cartoons. And the News in its formal editorial voice has taken perhaps the most uncompromising pro-free speech position of any major daily newspaper in the United States.

Defending the Indefensible:
How about if every newspaper reprints a photo of Piss Christ to go along with the cartoons?

Giving unnecessary offense is not the purpose of free speech. Yes, you have the legal right to do it. But it's rude.
2.11.2006 11:57pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
It's not just about expressing speech for its own sake. This is NEWS! All over the world people are erupting in violence over these cartoons... how can you possible report on it without the cartoons to put things in context? No one looks in the newspaper and says "I wonder how come they aren't printing a picture of piss christ today..."
2.12.2006 12:07am
Defending the Indefensible:
Longer reply.

It seems to me that some people really want to keep pushing the line on these cartoons precisely because they give offense to some people. I'm absolutely for free speech but I also understand that when one undertakes to insult people and/or their deeply held beliefs, it is to get a reaction. What reaction is it that is desired from reprinting these cartoons? Precisely the violent overreaction we've been seeing so far. Because the more you can provoke a violent reaction, the more violence you can justify using against the people you're insulting.

Nothing happens in isolation. People who feel oppressed but overwhelmed by force may not act out until they also feel insulted. That the insult seems like the proximate cause of the reaction if you ignore what has gone before.

There is absolutely no chance, none whatsoever, that "radical Islamofascism" or whatever you want to call it, is going to take over the United States. It isn't remotely sane to believe that it will. Let's operate on the more realistic basis that we need to protect against actual threats and not create more grievances in order to widen conflict.
2.12.2006 12:10am
Tester (mail):
An article on debating anti-Americans :

http://futurist.typepad.com
2.12.2006 12:24am
Defending the Indefensible:
Tester,

Is it your opinion that non-aggression is per se "unAmerican"?
2.12.2006 12:27am
ROA:
To me, it seems that one of the problems with Muslims demanding respect for their prophet is that they are unwilling to show respect to other religions:

The Taliban destroyed two giant Buddhas that were over a thousand years old;

During the Palestinian Intefada, Muslim terrorists took over a church and defaced it;

Muslims routinely print lies about Jews, including the story that Jews use human blood for the pastries they bake for religious ceremonies;

Non-Muslims are not permitted in Mecca and Medina;

Saudi Arabia is so intolerant president Bush had to leave the country to worship when he visited the troops in 1990; and

Since the Pact of Umar in the seventh century, non-Muslims have been treated as second-class citizens in Muslim countries.

If Muslims will not respect other religions, why should non-Muslims respect theirs? Especially, when that would mean violating one of the foundations of western society?
2.12.2006 12:28am
Tester (mail):
No, certainly not. I advocate non-aggression against North Korea.

But double standards against America, when exhibited, are examples of anti-Americanism.
2.12.2006 12:29am
Defending the Indefensible:
ROA:

It seems to me you want to blame all actions taken by particular Muslims on all Muslims. This is as invalid as blaming all Christians for the Crusades, or all Europeans for the Holocaust.
2.12.2006 12:30am
Defending the Indefensible:
Tester,

I advocate non-aggression as a general principle. I recognize that not everyone (or every country) respects this principle. I acknowledge that force may not be aggression when properly limited to defensive purpose and not excessive. This is pretty much the definition of libertarianism. Do you think libertarianism is "anti-Americanism"?
2.12.2006 12:34am
David Sucher (mail) (www):
That there is a reason besides fear which prevents media from showing the cartoons is hardly credible. It is a totally understandable and rational fear and it would be healthier if it were admitted. All this talk about "respect" etc etc is a makeweight.
2.12.2006 12:40am
Tester (mail):
Even classical liberalism and socialism are not anti-Americanism, provided they are done without double standards and hypocrisy.

Double standards and hypocrisy in making judgements about America are anti-Americanism.
2.12.2006 12:41am
Defending the Indefensible:
David Sucher,

Is there any reason besides fear that I don't call you names or insult you on this forum? After all, it might be totally understandable and rational if it was important to me not to be barred from posting for breaking the rules. And actually I'd prefer not to be, as I rather like participating and some of the people here are very thoughtful and interesting to talk with.

Truthfully I don't want to call you names, because I'm not looking for a conflict with you. I don't want to insult your family, or your faith, or your other deeply held beliefs. If and when I do disagree with you, I'd prefer to do it respectfully, because it's more pleasant for me as well as for you, and more conducive to resolving whatever differences we may have.
2.12.2006 1:05am
juris imprudent (mail):

It seems to me that some people really want to keep pushing the line on these cartoons precisely because they give offense to some people.

So it offends them. Since when is it a human right to not be offended? If you are offended, protest is a legitimate response, violence is not. Of course simply ignoring the offense is the best response - it utterly deflates the one doing the goading.
2.12.2006 1:09am
Vovan:
Forget moral equivialency for a second, there is a better reason why the cartoons are not being printed, and should not be printed - common sense, why add fuel to the fire?

I seem to distinctly remember how much flak the reporter who broke the story of American Marines shooting wounded "ragheads" in Iraq got from the conservative press, if not from this particular commenator, for THE SAME REASON that the cartoons are not being printed in the U.S. right now - our guys are in the line of fire right now - why do we want to give the Shi'a and the Sunnis another excuse to blow them up?
2.12.2006 1:09am
Defending the Indefensible:
Tester,

So can you clarify for me to what purpose your link to an article on debating "anti-Americans" served? Was it in reference to something you think I said or implied? Or was it apropos of something someone else said or implied in this thread? Was it pertinent to this discussion at all?
2.12.2006 1:12am
Tester (mail):
Not addressed to you at all. Just of general interest to the group.

Why so suspicious?
2.12.2006 1:15am
Defending the Indefensible:
Juris imprudent,

Let's be clear here, since Tester's made a very important point about not being hypocritical. Do you think all the photos from Abu Ghraib ought to be printed in the newspapers as well? How about photos of all the caskets coming home from Iraq?
2.12.2006 1:20am
Tester (mail):
In my opinion, those photos can be printed, but at the same time, it would be fair to print photos of voters of all ages enthusiastically voting in Iraq's election, large numbers of Iraqi men signing up for the Iraqi army, training photos of the Iraqi Army, and photos of burned vehicles (and possibly even dead bodies) after Al-Qaeda sets off another bomb in Iraq.

ALL those would have to be shown, to show both the good and the bad, to have a fully accurate picture.
2.12.2006 1:26am
Defending the Indefensible:
Tester,

Sorry if I misunderstood your intent, I just figured your original post might have some relevance to the conversation. General interest seems fine, usually it's best to point out when you're going off-topic just to prevent confusion.

But since you say that double standards and hypocrisy in making judgements about America are anti-Americanism, what if those double standards are applied in the reverse direction. Is that Americanism or is that something else?
2.12.2006 1:27am
Defending the Indefensible:
Tester,

I really don't think it would be a good idea to print all those torture photos in the newspapers. They are quite indecent and inappropriate for anyone to see without expecting to be offended. Some small number of them have been released on the net, and ought not to be suppressed. People who want to see them should be informed well enough that they can find them if they really want to see them.
2.12.2006 1:30am
Tester (mail):
DtI,

No, that would be bad too. For example, implying that all Islamic women are required to wear burkhas in all nations would be inaccurate, and misleading.

I just see much more of it in this direction.

The number of media outlets, both here and abroad, trying to make America look bad are many more than those that are trying to be fair.
2.12.2006 1:31am
Stale:
Am I the only one who is more than ready to start talking about something else?
2.12.2006 1:33am
Defending the Indefensible:
Tester,

Given limited newsprint, it's hard to avoid some imbalance in coverage. Plus the papers are privately owned and don't have an obligation to provide equal time to all perspectives. There are too many photos of too many things, wondrous and despicable alike, to print them all. Online it's another story, capacity is nearly unbounded and everything can be found somewhere as long as someone is interested and as long as it isn't suppressed. I'm against suppressing any of these photos, or any viewpoint for that matter, though I don't expect all of either to be housed on any particular website.

Seem fair?
2.12.2006 1:38am
Defending the Indefensible:
Stale,

What would you prefer to talk about? How about cannabis prohibition?
2.12.2006 1:41am
Stale:
DTI,

Is your response an example of the respectful disagreement you spoke so highly of? Or was this one of the occassions on which you didn't prefer to do so?

My statement wasn't so much directed at the topic itself, but rather at the continual coverage which hasn't seemed to be adding much to the debate.
2.12.2006 1:53am
Defending the Indefensible:
I know this is off-topic, but just after I posted my last reply to Stale, I came across this Newsday article regarding CPAC having an event, "A Conservative Drug Policy? A Mini Debate on the War on Drugs."
2.12.2006 1:55am
Defending the Indefensible:
Stale,

I took you at your word that you wanted to discuss something else.
2.12.2006 1:56am
Wintermute (www):
I started writing on this Tuesday in a piece called "Sacred Cows," which recites at the end, with sources, how we in the West are not long removed historically from prosecution for blasphemy. What a precious thing it is for our culture and liberty and the progress of science that we have the blessing of the Bill of Rights! We don't always live up to our highest moments, which in my view involve the government actually protecting offensive speech from violent protestors; but I sure don't want to go back to the Dark Ages. Sometimes some people will push the boundaries of free speech (which tend to constrict if not reamed out now and then), like Mario Savio at Berkeley, the T-shirted Cohen lad, and even the dumbass "Nazis" parading in Skokie; and even if I didn't go to their particular lengths, I am on their side that they not be busted or harassed by more than "more speech."

This brouhaha made me study up on why idolatry became disfavored and monotheism came in with prohibitions on "graven images." Of course, that implicates one of the most important functions of religion, which is to coalesce power in one head of state over the previous factions of polytheism, with attendant advantages in social cohesion and the ability better to kill the guys next door.
2.12.2006 2:15am
SLS 1L:
Suppose we believe that the principal or only reason that newspapers aren't reprinting the cartoons is fear of violence (which is doubtful, given that many of the cartoons are horrendously offensive. If there were a controversy over a graphic cartoon of President Bush being fucked up the ass, would we expect newspapers to reprint it on the grounds that it's news and offensiveness be damned?). Even if we do believe that, to equate an unwillingness to print 12 cartoons with being governed by de facto Shari'a trivializes the injustice done to people who live under de jure Shari'a.
2.12.2006 5:58am
llamasex (mail) (www):
I know I haven't personally posted those pictures anywhere because I fear the islamofacists Shari'a terrorists attacking me.
2.12.2006 6:46am
epaminondas (mail) (www):
Skokie 1978
Feces Virgin Mary
Piss Christ

Nothing at risk for american papers, except the chance to take a poke...

Now, in the face of the Quranic SA ....nothing?
Is that all there is for the guys who died at Bloody Ridge in Aug 42 (Guadalcanal), or driving obsolescent torpedo bombers twords the Kaga into certain death, or walked up Marye's Heights, and stood 10' from Jackson's men firing at each other for an hour at 2nd Manassas?
Is that all there is for 3,000 who were were burned and slaughtered out of a clear blue sky while having coffee one morning? Is that it for the black men who were lynched dragging themselves towards a rough equality?

If we passed a modern sedition law, I have a feeling we'd here from the brave Mr. Keller. When he has to face Karl Rove he is brave. But when he faces Qaradawi, he is silent over CENSORSHIP of the roughest kind. Civil Intimidation.

I profess my disgust. I actually didn't think I could feel worse about the NYT, but Keller et al have managed to DO IT

Where is the freedom fighter Krugman, Robert Scheer, Frank Rich, David Corn, Katrina Van Den Heuvel? When the enemy is Scooter Libby they are right there, but the enemy is one who will SCARE YOU physically?
2.12.2006 8:09am
Stephen Macklin (mail) (www):
I published the original 12 cartoons on my blog. I don't know if any of the dozen or so people who saw them there were offended, nor do I care. I have seen, read or heard many things which I consider personally offensive. In the end, I would rather be offended than silenced.
2.12.2006 8:19am
Brett Bellmore (mail):

Suppose we believe that the principal or only reason that newspapers aren't reprinting the cartoons is fear of violence (which is doubtful, given that many of the cartoons are horrendously offensive.


You see, that's exactly why they NEED to be published. Because when they're not published, people are able to imagine much, much worse cartoons than the ones which were ACTUALLY published.

They're NOTT "horrendously offensive". Not in the slightest. I see more offensive editorial cartoons every day in the paper.

Not publishing them allows the illusion that the outrage is in some sense justified, to be preserved, by sheilding people from the evidence that would shatter that illusion in a heartbeat.

And so the public in the West do not realize how insane the outrage is, and become even more disgusted with Islam. And maybe *that* is the point of not publishing them, not fear. Just another ploy by the western media to keep the "irrational and bloodthirsty" public from getting mad, where the media think we need "understanding" instead.
2.12.2006 9:11am
anonymous coward:
"Out of the 1.2 billion Muslims in the world I am not sure if there are more than a handful who are not genocidal nutcases. In particular I have not heard from or seen one American Muslim who was not a total whack-job and bloodthirsty extremist."

Well, living in a cabin in Montana probably helps one with that. (See this.)

I largely agree with Kopel's RMN essay. Personally, I would like more "offensive" speech and less of that vaunted "editorial judgment" in my daily newspaper. Then I might actually read it.
2.12.2006 9:12am
Frank Drackmann (mail):
I'm offended by Senator Kennedy and Former President Carter turning a funeral into a political rally, it would have been less upsetting if Jimmy fellated Teddy right there on the pulpit. Maybe they'll do it at Bill Clintons funeral.
2.12.2006 9:17am
Dylanfa (mail) (www):
The reason to publish the cartoons is to offend, and it's absolutely correct to do so. What's at stake is the right to offend without facing death threats (let alone actually being killed). Until the Muslim world rejects violent rhetoric and actions to what is quite mild provocation, a metaphorical raised finger to highlight this problem is quite appopriate. Once they evolve into enlightened, reasonable human beings the big media can leave the job of provocation to individual asshole artistes.
2.12.2006 11:08am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
I can see why much of the European press isn't publishing the cartoons out of fear. But I don't see that being the cause here. Rather, I suspect it is from an overelevated respect for multiculteralism. As I see it, today's liberal multiculteralism demands ultimate respect for minority religions (i.e. all those except for Christianity, Judaism, Mormonism, and, maybe, Scientology) and their devotees, but figures that the majority religions and their adherants are just fine without it (and, yes, I know that from a numerical point of view, giving Islam deference, and not Judaism, is preposterous).

My view is that bending backwards to respect and not upset Moslems is more pragmatic than either fear or multiculteralism. Rather, we are in a war in which we are trying to pacify Afganistan and Iraq, and neutralize Iran, all very Moslem. Not printing the cartoons in the major media just makes our job a little bit easier there, removing just one more reason, for example, for the native and foreign born terrorists in Iraq to make common cause against the Crusaders.

p.s. Dave, if you are reading this. Keep up the good work. Living in CO, I see your editorials quite regularly, and they are invariably some of the first I read.
2.12.2006 11:21am
Eric Muller (www):
Frank Drackmann, I watched the rebroadcast of the King funeral last night on CSPAN. Not the 2 or 3 6-second excerpts that you've been seeing on O'Reilly and Hannity, and hearing on Rush and Savage. No, I watched the actual service, including both Bush speeches (father and son), Kennedy, Lowery, Conyers, Carter, both Clintons, and some others.

Having now seen the real thing in its entirety, and in context, I am confident that any even faintly fair-minded person who holds even a whisp of respect for the legacy of Martin and Coretta Scott King would be mortified by the misrepresentations about this funeral that some on the right have been making, and that you've parroted here.
2.12.2006 11:24am
Glenn W Bowen (mail):
why would we blame Christians for the Crusades? Did you get the academic version?
2.12.2006 11:26am
Glenn W Bowen (mail):
publishing the cartoons is a proper response to any radical muslim chicanery. hit back hard, swiftly, often.
2.12.2006 11:27am
ROA:
DTI - Blaming all Muslims for actions of a few. Isn't that what Muslims are doing now? An appropriate response would be for Muslims to protest the individual papers that ran the cartoons. If they are truly offended, I guess it would be OK for them to burn the buildings down or even kill the cartoonists. Burning flags and embassies seems somewhat over the top not to mention killing people, especially people who had nothing to do with the cartoons being published.
2.12.2006 11:37am
Defending the Indefensible:
I'm constantly amazed by the degree of hatefulness that people feel for other cultures and people. It is hatefulness we should work against no matter whether it is anti-American or anti-Muslim. Both are dangerous to our safety and our liberty. Hatred on either side leads to hatred on the other, hatred on both sides leads to perpetuation of violence against one another, with the majority of casualties being collateral.
2.12.2006 11:38am
Defending the Indefensible:
ROA:
DTI - Blaming all Muslims for actions of a few. Isn't that what Muslims are doing now?
Which Muslims? All of them? You're doing it again.
2.12.2006 11:40am
Duncan Frissell (mail):
Dave,

Like your article in the RM News. It looks like even lefties at the News are showing some spine. Helps to be living on the Colorado plateau with your backs to the Rockies and loose gun laws. Defensive depth.

Your quote from the Denver Post lefty blogger was funny too: "I'm so damn sick of chickensh-- white boy/draft dodgeing political hacks who have never picked up a damn pencil in service to this country, much less a rifle, attacking the military service and medals of Democrats."

Someone should inform Dani Newsum of the fact that no man born after 1955 or so (and of course no woman) can be called "draft dodging" because of the lack of a draft. Conscription stopped in January 1973.

Looking at David Thibault's bio, I'm guessing he was born after 1955.

It also appears that L. Brent Bozell was born in 1956 or so. No draft dodging there.
2.12.2006 11:50am
A.S.:
Which Muslims? All of them?

Obviously a great many of them, given the scal eof the boycott of Denmark and Danish products.
2.12.2006 11:54am
Defending the Indefensible:
A.S., even assuming the scale of such a boycott is indeed significant, aren't you then making an equivalence between peaceful protest and violence.
2.12.2006 12:03pm
Daedalus (mail):
Personally, I find the thought of living under SHARI'A law a totally repugnant idea. The followers of the Wahhabi sect of ISLAM (Saudi Arabia) want to censor the cartoons, free speech, and the rest of the world as well; however, they have never addressed their continuing proliferation of cartoons that are equally offensive to Christians and Jews. Unfortunately, when you believe that one book contains all there is to know, and you don't need to know anything else, this situation will continue……It is a sad epitaph for a once progressive religion that supported equal rights for the sexes, and brought lights to Baghdad when Europe was stumbling in the dark
2.12.2006 12:17pm
JohnAnnArbor:
How about if every newspaper reprints a photo of Piss Christ to go along with the cartoons?

The NYTimes just reprinted the elephant-dung Mary image for no readily apparent reason, but refuses the cartoons. Offending Christians is fun for the "cultural elites" and it's safe since they generally don't blow buildings sky-high.

Have you seen the cartoons? In what way are ALL of them offensive? Only one is even controversial, in my opinion. But the newspapers would have you think, by not showing them, that they show the worst kinds of debasement. ("Wow, they can't print them. They must be really bad!!")
2.12.2006 12:28pm
Giant Slurpee:
You see, that's exactly why they NEED to be published.... Not publishing them allows the illusion that the outrage is in some sense justified, to be preserved, by sheilding people from the evidence that would shatter that illusion in a heartbeat.

Exactly right, Brett. Western freedom of speech trumps freedom from offense. If the West caves on this issue, it really will be a slippery slope.
2.12.2006 12:45pm
Defending the Indefensible:
Giant Slurpee,

Do you think the NY Times should syndicate the cartoons of Ted Rall?
2.12.2006 1:18pm
Federal Dog:
This is all so much garbage: The prohibition against depictions of Mohammed is recognized only by some Muslims, much like some Protestant Christian denominations recognize the same prohibition (unlike Catholics). They are not rioting because this prohibition has been violated: That same exact violation has been going on for many centuries (by Muslims themselves) without hysterical rioting or death threats. This is obviously diverting attention from internal problems plaguing many Muslim cultures, and has nothing whatsoever to do with us or the Danes.


Now, even if we take seriously that Muslims are so offended that their rioting and death threats are somehow legitimate reactions, Glenn Reynolds asked the key question on CNN: _Will and Grace_ equally offends Christians. If the Christians riot, do we take it off the air? Hindus equally revere cows as sacred. If the Hindus riot, do we outlaw representing or eating of cows? No matter what the hell we do, someone, somewhere out there will be deeply offended. Do we therefore outlaw everything offensive?
2.12.2006 1:23pm
Defending the Indefensible:
JohnAnnArbor,

I can't figure the NY Times out, actually. They seem to have a really schizoid approach, and they've really ceased to have credibility on the left or right after Jayson Blair and Judy Miller, withholding the wiretap story for a year and then printing it (take your pick which one you think they shouldn't have done, the combination is inconsistent).

But frankly we're just whistling in the wind as far as criticizing the MSM, they have freedom of the press and similarly the freedom not to print what they don't want to. The way to have an effective voice now is to use the internet, which we're doing here.

Bottom line. I'm not going to defend the Times' decision to print the Dung Mary. It doesn't make sense to me.
2.12.2006 1:28pm
Defending the Indefensible:
Federal Dog,

There's a difference between choosing not to print something and outlawing it. It should be (and is) perfectly legal to publish the cartoons at issue.
2.12.2006 1:44pm
Federal Dog:
Defending the Indefensible,


Yes, there is. It's too damned bad the rioters will not settle for discretion, and demand outlawing the conduct instead, on pain of continued violence and death threats. Since the objection to depicting Mohammed is patently bogus to begin with, they should drop the crap and just issue their death threats unvarnished by fake outrage: Death threats to the West are the only sincerity they show in this matter.
2.12.2006 1:50pm
Defending the Indefensible:
Federal Dog,

Would it be fair to characterize your own outrage as being similarly fake? Do you seek peace with Muslims, or do you want an excuse to kill them?
2.12.2006 2:04pm
Federal Dog:
Defending the Indefensible,


Sorry I misunderstood your posts as serious in nature. Troll someone else.


http://www.memri.org/bin/opener_latest.cgi?ID=SD108906
2.12.2006 2:08pm
cnn watcher (mail):
If CNN runs the cartoons, it gets booted out of many countries where its journalistic presence is its competitive advantage, right? Does anyone deny that fact? I've looked closely at CNN's justifications for not running the cartoons but they don't mention the obvious. Why not simply tell the truth?
2.12.2006 2:30pm
Defending the Indefensible:
Federal Dog,

I notice that you call me a troll in order not to admit or deny your desire for conflict.

The Memri article (though selectively quoted, to be sure) made some points that we might rather not engage with, but ought to. For instance, there are laws in Europe against anti-Semitic speech and press. I think those laws do more harm than good, as the proper response to speech we don't like is more speech. We're looking at things from an American perspective but Denmark is not America.
2.12.2006 2:38pm
Defending the Indefensible:
CNN Watcher, it's a fair point.
2.12.2006 2:40pm
JMB:
DTI, why do you suggest that anyone here is looking for excuses to kill? That's truly weird.

Circumspection, please. More irrational emotion is the last thing anyone needs.
2.12.2006 2:52pm
Defending the Indefensible:
JMB:

Read Glenn W Bowen's posts above:
why would we blame Christians for the Crusades? Did you get the academic version?

publishing the cartoons is a proper response to any radical muslim chicanery. hit back hard, swiftly, often.
Why would I suggest that anyone here is looking for excuses to kill? Because clearly some are.
2.12.2006 2:57pm
pdxnag (mail) (www):
The cartoonists need only invite Allah to a duel and when Allah fails to show up . . .

I do have to wonder if Mr. Falwell would have invited Mr. Flynt to a duel rather than ask for 500 Benjamins.

Where is the person that has been given offense, he or she is nowhere to be found. It is impossible to libel a belief.
2.12.2006 3:04pm
JMB:
DTI,

The poster states that publishing is a proper response. Publishing cartoons is not murder. Sheesh.
2.12.2006 3:04pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
Glenn Reynolds asked the key question on CNN: _Will and Grace_ equally offends Christians. If the Christians riot, do we take it off the air? Hindus equally revere cows as sacred. If the Hindus riot, do we outlaw representing or eating of cows? No matter what the hell we do, someone, somewhere out there will be deeply offended. Do we therefore outlaw everything offensive?

Glenn Reynolds asked an irrelevant question and the Rocky Mountain News' question was sheer hyperbole. Nothing is being outlawed. And to answer Glenn's questions about Will and Grace, a lot of TV shows have been yanked because of protests from one group or another, most recently The Book of Daniel, which painted Episcopaleans in a rather unflattering light (which I thought the hard core right wing fundamentalists would have rather appreciated). Remember the Reagan TV movie also got yanked before it was shown, apparently because they didn't depict Reagan as having a halo and neglected to show him slaying dragons, turning water into wine and curing lepers.
2.12.2006 3:09pm
Federal Dog:
Freder Frederson--


As indicated in the MEMRI link I posted above, the push to outlaw conduct displeasing to some Muslims is very much reality. With respect to _The Book of Daniel_, it tanked in the ratings. There were no riots, and no Christians issued death threats to anyone over it. The Reagan film was aired on cable (contrary to your contention) and, again, bombed in the ratings. Again, no one rioted or threatened to kill anyone over the Reagan movie. Please be honest in this matter: Show me other religions rioting ther streets and threatening to kill anyone who offends them and perhaps then you will have made a point.
2.12.2006 3:24pm
Michael B (mail):
"It seems to me that some people really want to keep pushing the line on these cartoons precisely because they give offense to some people." Defending the Indefensible (Defending what?)

This is not at all what is at issue. The cartoons are not even terribly offensive, not by Western standards and certainly not by standards in the ME as judged by the caricatures and other forms of propaganda wantonly and conspicuously lavished against Israel and Jews and to a lesser, but still notable extent, other groups; dhimmitude and the culturally/socially engendered hatreds and misanthropies in the ME is a huge, contrasting aspect of what is at issue.

But even more significantly, especially so given the rather mild caricatures involved, the fundamental maintenance of classical liberal forms within our polities is at issue. Over-reactions (e.g., simply or merely to offend) may need to be guarded against, at least so when it comes to more egregiously offensive depictions, but given the global environment this is taking place in, these twelve cartoons are not only mild, they are also apt and succinct forms of social/political commentary. Further still, without publishing the depictions, many people won't be able to draw their own conclusions about these and other related topics.

Given some of the commentary herein, it's profoundly ironic that the subject of this post is de facto forms of "shari'a" imposed values and governance. This is not about polities in the West being "overly" guarded in their protection and maintenance of formative liberties and bedrock classical liberal standards, this is about a proper and commensurate response to rank duplicity and a perforce, insinuating power play into our forms of governance. These are simple caricatures we're talking about, cartoons which provide trenchant commentary concerning a real-world set of issues which need to be addressed, around the globe, to one degree or another. (I.e., empirically based events such as 3/11, 7/7, 9/11, Casablanca, Bali, Istanbul, Daniel Pearl, etc.)

(Also, regarding comments concerning the "piss christ". As with the "elephant dung/virgin mary," most of the reaction, certainly so in a political vein, concerned itself with the fact it was publically funded. If an artist advances a work entitled Bill Clinton Raping Juanita Broaddrick for public display and a tandem work entitled Hillary Clinton Acting as Apologist for the Rape, all, according to the artist and various commentators, in order to artistically depict aspects of the American political/legal scene, I very much doubt people on the soft or hard Left would remain quiet if it were additionally discovered the works had been supported with the use of public funds.)

cf. British Imam Praises London Bombers; The Protocols of the Elders of Zion at the Frankfurt Book Fair; Suicide Bombing 'for a Higher Ideal'?; Islamic Antisemitism And Its Nazi Roots. What these references reflect, when contrasted with the de facto (and de jure) submission we're suppose to comply with vis-a-vis the cartoons (and other, yet to be determined compliances), is that we're not only suppose to refrain from portraying any putatively unwarranted commentary but are also suppose to (according to both de facto Islamicist standards as well as multi-culti dogmas and standards) more positively portray or "understand" events such as suicide bombings and similar, corresponding tactics.

h/t American Future, Iris Blog, Matthias Kuntzel
2.12.2006 3:52pm
Defending the Indefensible:
JMB:

Perhaps I should have kept the emphasis from the original: "why would we blame Christians for the Crusades?"
2.12.2006 4:05pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
Show me other religions rioting ther streets and threatening to kill anyone who offends them and perhaps then you will have made a point.

Well, until very recently, Catholics and Protestents in Northern Ireland did it regularly (and had been off and on for something like 500 years).

Then you have almost constant Sikh/Hindu/Muslim violence in India (sometimes the Muslims start it, sometimes they don't). Just a few weeks ago we had white Australians rioting against Muslims.
2.12.2006 4:23pm
Federal Dog:
Freder--


Given how "constant" it is, you should have no trouble at all finding evidence to link to here.
2.12.2006 4:31pm
Frank Drackmann (mail):
Lyndon Johnson boycotted Martin Luther Kings funeral,the democrat governor of georgia didn't allow MLK to lie in state in the capitol or declare a period of mourning. Jimmy Carter wasn't there either..Who was there? Richard Nixon... strange world.
2.12.2006 6:06pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
Here's a link but there plenty of others. Try googling "Sectarian violence in India". Do you need info about Ireland too or will you take my word for it.

And of course don't forget that the problems in the Balkans in the 80's and 90's was Christian on Muslim violence, not the other way around.
2.12.2006 6:17pm
Ross Levatter (mail):
Tester:

You say, about posting pictures of Abu Grahib,

"In my opinion, those photos can be printed, but at the same time, it would be fair to print photos of voters of all ages enthusiastically voting in Iraq's election, large numbers of Iraqi men signing up for the Iraqi army, training photos of the Iraqi Army, and photos of burned vehicles (and possibly even dead bodies) after Al-Qaeda sets off another bomb in Iraq. "

Let's agree that all of the pictures you want printed, presumably to add context, are "good things". I guess we should all be gratified that when the US government and US military decide to spend several hundred billion dollars and end up killing (in the President's recent admission) "about 30,000 Iraqi" civilians, that SOME good things will result.

Similarly, I suspect that if we all agreed that I could arbitrarily kill whomever I chose to and command 20% of the country's GDP, I, too, could achieve *some* good results. But isn't it a more relevant question as to where I got the right to do those things? Putting this back in context, where did the US government get the right to lie the American people into war, invade another country on false claims of "preventive" self-defense, and round up and torture Iraqi citizens on the grounds it suspects some of them may have information they desire?

The people who founded this country could distinguish between power and right. It's been amply demonstrated that the US government has the power to invade virtually any country on earth and take down their government. Whether or not they have the right to do so is something the US government is quite grateful most Americans are too scared to consider.
2.12.2006 10:19pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
There's a story that a big-time golf tournament was being held at St. Andrews during a terrible storm. The players were 'way off par.

"Are you trying to humiliate the best golfers in the world?" one spectator asked a St. Andrews official.

"No," responded that worthy, "we're trying to identify them."

Seems to me that a practical use of the cartoon issue is to identify those Muslims who need little or no reason to get nutso. If it weren't this, it would be the next convenient excuse to push western society into retreating on itself. Which some think we ought to do. I don't see that it's working, so far.
2.12.2006 10:21pm
Gordo:
Did the Rocky Mountain News actually run the cartoons? If so, I commend them. If not, then why not?
2.13.2006 11:58am
Michael B (mail):
The RMN published one of the cartoons.
2.13.2006 6:07pm