Monday, February 06, 2006

Denmark and Freedom of the Press



There is not much to add to what has already been said on the Danish cartoon controversy, for example at Cox & Forkum who have illustrated the basic point quite well.

I did buy some Havarti cheese this weekend.
Another amusing cartoon can be seen on the site of the German newspaper Die Welt.

The text in the bubble reads (my rough translation): "Please understand me doctor, I feel emotionally hurt." It's nice to see elements of Europe show a hint of a backbone for a change.

I've seen the supposedly offending cartoons in question. I can't say I find them offensive; for the most part they merely point out the obscenity of what is currently done in the name of Mohammed and Islam. But it is important to keep in mind that even if the cartoons were highly offensive to objective values, that the only moral response would be intellectual condemnation and boycott. The fact that violence has accompanied protests against the cartoons means that even if they were offensive, the moral high-ground has been lost, much as during the days of Salman Rushdie, any problem with Rushdie or his book, pales in comparison to the violent response he has had to face. The leaders of the civilized world ought to take a stand against any intimidation of its free press. Unfortunately, from both the previous Democratic President and the State Department of the current Republican one, the response has been morally sickening.

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