Thursday, February 02, 2006

When the Shoe Is On the Other Foot....

I've been following, with some amusement and growing concern, the Muslim world's reaction to derogatory cartoon depictions of Muhammd in a Danish newspaper. Today's latest bit of reporting had me snorting at the seemingly "macho" reaction of our neighbors. I understand that Islam forbids any depiction of Muhammed or Allah, but open your eyes people - not everyone is Muslim, nor do they have to adhere to the rules of your faith!

Personally, the trend of automatic obescience towards any sense of affront felt by any Muslims has gotten a bit extreme. I advocate sensitivity towards religious group (Hell, I work with international students, of all races and religions) but this constant turning to pacifism which is seeming to border on subsequience is flaming a serious fire. As a student of Communications, one of the basic principles taught is the necessity of freedom of the press, and unbiased reporting. While the latter has disappeard for quite some time, the former is a necessity in order to enable democracy. The world must take stock, and ask if they are willing to create a framework of mollification every time someone is upset. Granted, it's not just poking fun at a leader or political issue. However, if we are arriving at a stage where countries are threatened for their allowance of freedom of speech and press, then this is a wake up call - stop constantly assuaging every perceived slight and say "Welcome - this is the world we live in, it's not solely Muslim. Get used to it."

A note to the Palestinians - if you would like to have the world pity you and support your cause, I highly suggest restraint in public utterances, especially those which blatantly state your intention to blow up embassies over a cartoon. Stuff like that ain't great for public relations.

Now really, don't you think it's all a bit extreme?


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