Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Free societies?

Expatica French editor worries about the cartoon war and freedom of the press. [Bolding mine]
So, why is it so important that French newspapers print caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed? Why is the right to caricature God considered more important than respect for a religious injunction, which, while it may be hard for Westerners to understand, is at least very specific: don't draw pictures of Mohammed.

Because the cartoon crisis in France, if not elsewhere, isn't as much about freedom of the press as it is about French fear of Muslim influence within its own society.
And, this:
More generally, France would like to hold Muslim values at bay, not because they're all racist or intolerant or afraid of change, but because it's a really confusing question: how, in practical terms, do you show respect for large numbers of your Muslim neighbours without agreeing to follow their religious rules?
It's a question the French must ask themselves. Along with, how much respect should you show to a religion that advocates violence and seeks to destroy your way of life? The wonder is that the answer isn't obvious to Europeans. There is nothing there to respect and no values worth acknowledging in such a religion. They are just Islamic rules YOU are expected to observe while they flagrantly rampage and murder, burn and destroy. Every bombing, every terrorist attack, every murderous suicide bomber is a demonstration of evil. Call it what it is. It deserves to be lampooned. It's up to Muslims and their leaders to prove otherwise.

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