Something to read

Flemming Rose, culture editor of Jyllands-Posten and the editor responsible for the decision to publish the famous cartoons of the Prophet, writes an editorial in the Washington Post explaining why he published them.

(And for the record, I am in entire, wholehearted agreement with Mr. Rose on this issue. I have no sympathy, none whatsoever, for the sorts of people who want everyone in the world to obey their tribal rules. I speak respectfully of the Prophet; but I will defend, without hesitation and with all due force, the right of anyone not to. And frankly, countries that sponsor 41-part television series based on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, as a matter of government policy, really don’t have much room to be complaining about the insensitive Danish free press. Let them choke on it.)

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Published in: on February 26, 2006 at 21:49  Comments (2)  
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2 Comments

  1. Hear hear here! The Dutch have been too complacent about this too and it has had worse effects here too with the murder of Theo van Gogh. There has been significant discourse on the subject but little action on how to ensure that what people say or print or film doesn’t get them killed. I’m rather disappointed in Europe on how we’re being tread underfoot by a form of political correctness.
    Sensorship has always been around in certain forms though and its a very touchy subject. In the middle east publishing cartoons of the prophet may be met with violent reaction or/or jailtime, however in Germany saying the holocaust didn’t happen will deliver jailtime as well. One should adjust to the norms and values of the place one finds oneself in at that moment. If something about what’s happening in that area offends you, but isn’t harming you directly, then politely ignore it.
    But projecting the cultural norms and values outside of one’s community and causing fear of retribution in an otherwise tolerant society defeats the purpose of integration and will ultimately cause European countries to ostracise and further distance themselves from the middle east (and other areas too).
    If they wanted to be accepted in Europe; and this is very obvious seeing how I live smack in the middle of a muslim neighborhood in The Hague; then violent protest isn’t the way to go because it will only create more animosity and fear thus leading to, for example, a headscarf ban and eventually other measures to “moderate” islam.
    Europe respects, beyond all else, discourse. Talk. We do that a lot here. Too much often, but if you want to fit it, talk with us. Don’t kill our film makers.

  2. Hear hear here! The Dutch have been too complacent about this too and it has had worse effects here too with the murder of Theo van Gogh. There has been significant discourse on the subject but little action on how to ensure that what people say or print or film doesn’t get them killed. I’m rather disappointed in Europe on how we’re being tread underfoot by a form of political correctness.
    Sensorship has always been around in certain forms though and its a very touchy subject. In the middle east publishing cartoons of the prophet may be met with violent reaction or/or jailtime, however in Germany saying the holocaust didn’t happen will deliver jailtime as well. One should adjust to the norms and values of the place one finds oneself in at that moment. If something about what’s happening in that area offends you, but isn’t harming you directly, then politely ignore it.
    But projecting the cultural norms and values outside of one’s community and causing fear of retribution in an otherwise tolerant society defeats the purpose of integration and will ultimately cause European countries to ostracise and further distance themselves from the middle east (and other areas too).
    If they wanted to be accepted in Europe; and this is very obvious seeing how I live smack in the middle of a muslim neighborhood in The Hague; then violent protest isn’t the way to go because it will only create more animosity and fear thus leading to, for example, a headscarf ban and eventually other measures to “moderate” islam.
    Europe respects, beyond all else, discourse. Talk. We do that a lot here. Too much often, but if you want to fit it, talk with us. Don’t kill our film makers.


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