Thursday, February 09, 2006

A refreshing, thoughtful piece about the Danish cartoons

From Slate:

"So, while in Europe and the United States the row over the cartoons has been painted as a conflict between secular democratic freedoms and arcane religious dogma, the controversy is really about neither. Instead, it's another manifestation of the ongoing ethnic and religious tensions that have been simmering beneath the surface of European society for decades..."

Depicting Mohammed

1 comment:

pacatrue said...

I liked the article. One thing I had not heard and that is very important in the whole debate is that there had been an ongoing, and supposedly effective per the article, economic boycott by Danish Muslims until very recently when the issue was picked up and modified violently by others. An economic boycott is exactly the sort of thing you should do if you think the images are offensive. You boycott, you picket, you publicly criticize, and it is quite good to know that many Danish Muslims had been fighting in exactly this way. On the other hand, the author never makes it clear if, when he condemns the cartoons as portraying Muslim stereotypes that damage the community, it isn't clear if he thinks the government should step in to stop it or not. He seems to lean that way a bit, and with that I must disagree. You have to allow idiotic, offensive, racist things to be printed unless they directly incite violence, then you have to call the cartoonists offensive and racist for all the world to judge.