Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Cartoons Again...

It just keeps getting worse and worse. An Iranian paper has decided to run a contest for Holocaust cartoons. How on earth did we get drawn into this? The Muslim world already has a field day depicting Jews as baby killers, monkeys, pigs and a whole slew of other truly flattering characters. The stated intent was that this would test the world's reaction to an alternative form of freedom of speech.

Now really.

While the depiction of Mohammed was a religious issue, the Holocaust was a period in history which affected peoples of multiple religions, and was a crime against humanity. Muslim Protestp against the cartoons? Absolutely, it is your right, your freedom of speech. In the BBC, a picture was printed of a youth during a protest in London, holding a sign which read:

Freedom Go To Hell

The hypocrasy of it swamps me. You idiot, the only reason you can hold that protest and make those statements is because you are in a country which allows and encourages freedom of speech.

The NYTimes had a wonderful article today, including a quote by Flemming Rose, the culture editor of Jyllands-Posten, which first published the cartoons. One paragraph included the following: "He insisted last week that his interest was that of asserting the right to free speech over religious taboos. "When Muslims say you are not showing respect, I would say: you are not asking for my respect, you are asking for my submission," he said."

One of the main reasons the cartoons were published was to highlight the media's reluctancy to publish anything which may offend the Muslim community, resulting in self-censuring and biased reporting. From reports, it seems that the cartoonist did not mean serious offense, but to make a point, however difficult, as political cartoons do.

However, if Iran is so upset about the cartoons, then run cartoons about Danes, not about Jews. For once in a while, leave us out of it. Unless this is yet another opportunity for the world to truly see the blatant antisemitism of many in the Muslim world, if Ahmadinejad's previous comments haven't been enlightening enough.

The world is once again being presented with an opportunity to do the right thing. Will they fail again?


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