02/05/2006: In case I'm not clear on where I stand with respect to the Muslim cartoon brouhaha....
I am in substantial agreement with Norm's views here:
Since when does belief in a god trump the belief in freedom of speech as enshrined in the 'sacred documents' of Western Democracies; and doesn't the muslim world's reaction to the cartoons confirm much of the criticism the cartoons express. We don't give others with strong beliefs a free pass from criticism, or from ridicule, why is it that the muslims think their beliefs should be immune to such criticism. The idea that any religion should get a free pass from criticism is absurd. Those who claim they believe in free speech, but who accept the boycotts, the threats of violence, the intimidation as legitimate are liars. The only legitimate response to free speech is the exercise of one's own free speech. Those who attempt to destroy those whose speech they disagree with are bullies and have no place in a civilized world. It is the response of totalitarians who fear open and honest debate.However, as noted by Josh Marshall (and, indeed, as I've experienced myself from time to time) it isn't just Muslims who claim such privilege from criticism--be honest now, have you heard more Muslims or more Christians in the United States whine about how persecuted they are? (Hint: Last year, was it the "War against Eid ul-Adha" that Bill O'Lielly and John Gibson were complaining about?)
Len on 02.05.06 @ 10:10 PM CST