My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Not Getting It

The recent kerfuffle over the Danish cartoons is a topic I've already lost interest in. Except . . .

that there's evidence that this was a manufactured kerfuffle. This leads to the obvious conclusion that there is--and this isn't exactly news--a large portion (in terms of raw numbers) of the Muslim world that is just waiting for an excuse to protest the West and Israel. Which is not a big deal, except that a part of that portion is now in power in a country that is seeking to build nuclear weapons, and one country that already has nukes is a heartbeat away from being in--at best, complete chaos, or at worst--in the hands of that portion of Islam (Pakistan).

And, while at present, I agree with Hugh that this is not a clash of civilizations, but rather a battle to isolate and eradicate a small portion of the larger Islamic world. Unfortunately, given the oppression within, the lack of hope these societies permit their people, and the projection of their values onto the larger world, this has all the possibilities of becoming a clash of civilizations. The only thing that would seem to hold back that tide is the clear-headedness of the Western leaders in urging restraint while defending our freedoms.

That last part seems to have escaped some:

London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who said the publication of the cartoons had been "a calculated and gratuitous insult to the Muslim community, a deliberate provocation designed to destroy trust and understanding."

"Had such images, bordering on racist, been used to portray other groups they would rightly have been condemned as racist or anti-Semitic," the Mayor said.

Regardless the internal logic of the argument, the real point is that condemnation of "racist or anti-Semitic" rhetoric in Europe has been, at best, disregarded by the powers that be. Nor would such condemnation ever lead to protests, some of which have turned violent; nor would such condemnation lead to death threats; nor would such condemnation lead to virulent anti-anti-Semitic hate propoganda, such as the Iranian denial and then mockery of the Holocaust.

No, such condemnation would lead to an open and free debate--often between people who have little intelligent to add to the debate--which is the hallmark of free societies, and, in the end, our only way to avert a clash of civilizations. As the editors of the Rocky Mountain News said today, in an explanation of their running the cartoons,

As with all of the material we publish, we urge you to read them and judge for yourself.

That freedom to judge for yourself is key, and simply self-censoring, as Europe seems intent on doing, removes a great deal of the important information from the ability to judge for yourself.

And, speaking of freedoms, note that the Rocky has chsen to only publish one of the Muslim-offensive cartoons, while also running four other cartoons of equal offense to Christians, Catholics and Jews.

Judge for yourself, indeed.

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