Round-up of Cartoon Craziness

Hold The Mayo makes some good points in Cartoon Critics about the reality of what we will find in Middle Eastern cultures. What we definitely won’t find is a secular, liberal society that tolerates those who are different and encourages diversity. Instead, we find the medieval society that the West left behind during The Enlightenment.

Lisa, at Liberal Common Sense, highlights some of the violent reactions and the Vatican’s reaction. The Vatican is, essentially, saying a pox on both your houses. The middle road doesn’t work between Liberal and Medieval society. It’s time to choose which you believe in.

Catallarchy’s Patri Friedman points out the hypocrisy of protecting one set of sensibilities and not another. He’s right, of course. But which issue and behavior is more dangerous to liberty?

Stuart Richards, from Hammer of Truth, gives the Muslim rioters the same answer I did: “Get over it”. He also wonders if we live in Iran now. I’m wondering myself.

Instapundit, who actually doesn’t need my links to bring him readers, has lots of coverage of the whole affair. This entry is good, and there’s lots of good links.

The Voice of Treason has a good editorial on the topic. Treason says, “And while we all sit here and fiddle with words, embassies in Damascus are burning.”

And, if you’re interested, the international version of the Jyllands-Posten, the paper that ignited the whole controversy, can be found here.

Last, but certainly not least, Mark Steyn writes a piece that makes some excellent points. A lot of folks are quoting this piece, but I think they are focusing on the wrong set of points in it. Here’s the important bit:

Very few societies are genuinely multicultural. Most are bicultural: On the one hand, there are folks who are black, white, gay, straight, pre-op transsexual, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, worshippers of global-warming doom-mongers, and they rub along as best they can. And on the other hand are folks who do not accept the give-and-take, the rough-and-tumble of a “diverse” “tolerant” society, and, when one gently raises the matter of their intolerance, they threaten to kill you, which makes the question somewhat moot.

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  • Lisa Renee

    That was a very well done round up Eric, thank you. I am starting to wonder though when this is going to die down. Meaning the violence, it seems to be spreading.

    I was just at CNN and I have to admit I was surprised by the result of their quick poll. I don’t place alot of stock in these polls yet this one was surprising, 91% or 276032 votes felt that the European Newspapers should not have printed these cartoons. To be perfectly honest, I would have almost expected the numbers to be the opposite.

  • Eric

    How is the question nuanced though? I’ll be honest, I think that folks should exercise appropriate personal/institutional responsibility and NOT publish things that are offensive and inflammatory. On the other hand, when confronted with someone who threatens me with violence if I do publish something they don’t like, then my position changes to confronting the person who wants to prevent my freedom of expression.

    Looked at in the abstract, many of us probably feel the media goes out of its way to be offensive to religion. Looked at in the specific, we may feel differently about this situation.

  • Lisa Renee

    Should the European press have published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad?

    Yes 9% 28718 votes

    No 91% 277609 votes

    That’s how it is phrased, which is why it surprised me when I clicked on the results.

  • Lisa Renee

    I’d also agree with you on the institutionial responsibility factor. As well as it is human nature when confronted with threats to respond in a less “cooperative” fashion, for lack of a better word.

    I find very little reason to take issue with the original Danish piece, it was written with a direct purpose and not meant to be inflammatory. Yet I don’t think the European press did a good job in attempting that same message. Then of course the extreme imams using it as a rallying point. Hopefully cooler heads will start to prevail soon, especially now that someone has died as a result of these riots/protests.

  • Eric

    Let’s be blunt. As far as I am concerned, in this case, the imams, mullahs and political leaders who are whipping their citizens into a frenzy are the ones responsible for the loss of property and loss of life. If any “cooler heads” need to prevail, it is there. Sure, the French, Norwegian, German, etc. newspapers may not have handled things really well, but they are not the ones doing violence over a picture they don’t like. They are not the ones trying to dictate at the point of a gun.

    When I say that people and institutions need to exercise responsibility over what they do and don’t say, I mean that in the sense of a non-coerced choice. At this point, if the cartoons are removed from publication it is a coerced choice. Politics growing from the barrel of a gun, as Mao might put it. At this point, if our idea of liberty and a liberal society is to mean anything, we have to stand fast and not allow “cooler heads” to cause us to back down from a threat of violence. Otherwise, all we have taught these folks is that threatening us with violence will cause us to do what they want. This will lead to worse confrontations in the future, or further censorship and loss of liberty.

  • Lisa Renee

    I meant cooler heads as far as Imams taking control of the situation and creating calm. It’s a bit too late for institutional responsibility at this point without it appearing to be catering to violence. Which I agree is not the right answer. What is the right answer? I’d say it has to come from Islam. The silent majority that doesn’t support violence needs to stop being so silent.

  • Eric

    The silent majority is convinced that we will back down and they will be left hanging. They aren’t going to put their necks on the line when they have twenty+ years of Western appeasement telling them that the radicals are going to win again. When they speak up in one’s and two’s they lose, like the Jordanian newspaper editor that got fired for saying something. And that is in a supposedly moderate Middle Eastern country.

    We have appeased and caved in so much that now the radicals don’t believe us when we say “no more”.