Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Following the Cartoon Wars

Instapundit Notes:

1. The New York Press editorial staff shows what they're made of:
The editorial staff of the alternative weekly New York Press walked out today, en masse, after the paper's publishers backed down from printing the Danish cartoons that have become the center of a global free-speech fight.

2. Iraqi blogger Alaa reacts to the cartoons:
In this respect I would like to draw attention to the statement issued by the venerable Al-Sistani, who while deprecating the blasphemous sacrilege, nevertheless clearly lays the blame on the extremists and Takfiris for the harm done to the image of Islam in the World, and need I remind you of the religious status of Al-Sistani. The rage of the Islamic world would be far more appropriate if it is directed against those who blow up mosques during prayer time, kidnap murder and torture innocent travelers, and all the other repertoire of atrocities committed in the name of Islam, It is this that is the real blasphemy and real affront to the name and reputation of our religion and its great founder the Prohpet (PBU), and not some silly cartoons in an obscure Danish paper that nobody would have noticed were it not for this artificial uproar of which the real agenda and purpose is all too apparent .

Both are worth reading in their entirety.

In related blogging, Gateway Pundit has been bloggin' up a storm on this. Please note I have not checked the accuracy of these, but they seem legit.
Gateway Pundit links to a Freedom for Egyptians post claiming the Danish cartoons were published in Egypt five months ago, resulting in no riots.
He then points us to evidence that
[t]he organisation Islamic Society in Denmark toured the Middle-East to create awareness about the cartoons, bringing 3 additional images, which HAD NEVER been published in any media source. Evidently, the originals were not offensive enough for the trip so they had to add these three...
He had scans of the three additional cartoons and has more information on the activities of this group.

While I haven't checked out Gateway Pundit's story, The Belmont Club has verified one of the additional cartoons, and that it was shown by the BBC who mistakenly claimed it was one of the Jyllands-Posten cartoons. The BBC regrets the error, I'm sure.

Belmont Club also gives a very interesting analysis that you'll have to read nearly all of to get to this:
I think this time the terror puppet masters have miscalculated. They should have remembered that the key to every successful protection racket is keeping your own muscle from making independent demands and maintaining the rate of extortion low enough to make it less trouble to pay than to fight.

So maybe this is about a little more than just 12 cartoons of Muhammed. Obviously, in dictatorships, the government has to aquiesce to any public demonstrations. What are the political goals being pursued in this fight? Hmmm ...

For some very interesting thoughts, I've been following the intriguing blog All Things Beautiful. Her posts, Is There Any Difference Between Exquisitely Refined Multicultural Sensitivity And Shari'a:
But upon reflection, perhaps we as a nation can for once sit back during the predominantly European contest of who are the courageous and who are the cowards. Because, as The Telegraph affirms, "for let us not delude ourselves: it is organized violence, or the threat of violence, that has driven the decisions that have been made in the past week".

We as a nation are far beyond the point of rhetoric in proving our resolve to protect and defend our secular democracy and our civil liberties, and, may I remind you all, those of our allies too!
and Is Western Liberalism Modifying Its Core Beliefs:
At the core are the implicit flaws inherent in the dictum of both Multiculturalism and Political Correctness, best summarized by the brilliant, but fatally academic (I'll get to the 'fatally' in a moment) Professor Stanley Fish essay, 'Boutique Multiculturalism, or Why Liberals Are Incapable of Thinking about Hate Speech'.
are particularly insightful, I thought.

Anyway, over at Captain's Quarters, Captain Ed posts:
A few people have already reminded backers of the cartoonists of Christian outrage over Andres Serrano's "Piss Christ", a picture of a crucifix dunked into a beaker of urine. Other artistic depictions of Christian iconography have also gathered vitriol from religious and conservative circles, such as Chris Ofili's "Holy Virgin Mary".

However, the two issues differ in one important aspect. The exhibitions of the two artists mentioned received federal funds for staging these pieces of "art", and the reaction to their poor taste came from the support of the National Endowment for the Arts. No one disputed the right of the artists to create their offensive displays, but what really rankled most was that their money went into funding their exhibitions.

Actually, the two issues differ in one important aspect: Christians didn't threaten to kill the artists or bomb the museums, nor did they burn down an embassy, or even anyone's flag. The other aspects are of far lesser importance.

Finally, sorry to give you even more of what you've probably already read at Instapundit, but this had to be linked. Jewish Street Explodes:
April 1, 2006. New York -- In response to a series of offensive cartoons published in an Iranian newspaper and subsequently printed in every newspaper around the globe, including many which had refused to publish the now-forgotten "anti-Muslim" cartoons last winter, the "Jewish street" erupted. At Brandeis University, a course on Lesbian motifs in Yiddish literature was briefly interrupted as students asked their professor what he thought about the controversy ...


Previous post on this topic: Questions for Mo

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