Sunday, February 05, 2006

War Against Caricaturism

My dear blogging mate Eddy over at Familiarity Breeds Content wonders why the online as well as the traditional media have been so reluctant to publish those controversial Mohammed caricatures:
I can't believe major newspapers and their online editing staff don't have the nerve to show even one small jay-peg of the offending item. Not even with a two-pager legal disclaimer before it, nuh-uh. Nada. Zip. Wasn't me.
Even though I believe that freedom of expression does not make or break with the respectful negligence of these four-month old drawings (which in terms of the mechanics of 21st century media is almost beyond time immemorial), the informed public has every right to be just that - informed. The recent violence of fanatic islamists in the Middle East in response to the republication of the caricatures only proves that point and nullifies every rightful effort of offended muslims to justifiably argue the decency of those works of hatred.

Religion does not follow the rules of logic. That does not make it any easier in terms of having a reasonable discussion about the issue. Christianity has thankfully transformed through the process of enlightenment into taking a rather forgiving stand, and while it would still be in bad taste to mock comparable Christian icons, it would invoke nowhere near the fury we are observing in the present situation.

Now, the blogosphere is catching up and the efforts of those extremists prove to be, to say the least, counter-productive as those artistically questionable drawings get more attention than they ever deserved.

We are now at a point where it would be futile to add insult to injury, but any indication that violence might finally get those caricatures banned and thereby sanctioning the perpertrators' rationale should be avoided. You don't negotiate with terrorists.

We have seen this before. Salman Rushdie had to change his life around and live in hiding for over a decade. With the current political situation in Iran as well as in the Palestinian territories, the situation is even more critical today. Interesting times ahead.
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