Tuesday, February 07, 2006
I just can't buy into the idea of people condemning these Islam protestors for rioting over a "cartoon", while refusing to lie ANY blame on the supposed professionals who started this whole thing in the first place: the Danish newspaper that first published the cartoons.
As we learned recently in the case of the con artist that is James Frey, freedom of the press does not absolve someone of responsibility. That's why we have editors, that's why we have fact checkers, that's why we have laws to protect people from issues of libel and slander, that's why James Frey deserved to have his card pulled by Oprah Winfrey and owed everyone who bought his a book an apology.
The Danish newspaper that published the pictures mocking the prophet Muhammad didn't do so out of freedom of the press, they did it out of a reckless and irresponsible desire to defame a figure that many in the world look up to obsessively. Religious people hold religious images sacred and many of these "peaceful" fundamentalists can be extremely violent. Disagree with this fanatical approach to a religious figure all you want, but to insult, degrade or mock someone else's belief system is just flat-out wrong.
That people in the media will turn a blind eye to their own standards of journalism, ignoring logic and reason, is just wrong. And by continuing to publish the pictures (as many newspapers and bloggers around the world are doing) or calling on people to support Danish products as a lame form of "protest" against the rioters (as many extreme-right conservatives are doing), people are only feeding their own arrogance and dislike for radical Islamists, inciting the angry rioters even further (while more blood continues to be shed) and acting like hypocrites when they themselves get upset when say, a Kanye West decides to pose as Jesus for the cover of Rolling Stone.
Indeed, freedom of speech doesn't mean an abuse of freedom. Nor does freedom of speech not come without consequences. The Muslim world's reaction to the cartoon's satirizing Mohammed is insane, but so is, for the most part, our reaction to it. But go ahead fight each other, call each other names and condemn each other's actions.
Just leave me out.
Posted by Mr. Grey Ghost at 4:07 PM