Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Muhammad Emoticon

Stolen from SayUncle


That's right. I did it. Come and get me.

Has any local media outlet run the Danish cartoons or any of the response cartoons yet?

SUNDAY EVENING UPDATE: I was going to put part of the following in comments, along with something I had already written, but decided instead to move it up into the main post. Here it is:

I think positive action is called for, now that buildings have been burned, people killed and general mayhem loosed. Freedom of speech itself, not sensitivity to the feelings of others, is at stake. We are being told, "You don't have to believe in our religion, just act as if you do."

The press routinely covers stories about art that "transgresses" simply because they love to cover the conflict. The difference now is that the aggrieved *will* come and inflict violence or death, or a real threat of it, on them. Up to now, news people never had to take this too seriously. After all, this is America. Defenders of free speech will defend them. It's cool. Be cool.

Now, it's no longer cool. And we see who the fair-weather patriots, the true friends and defenders of freedom of speech really are. And we see who the cowards are.

I was going to run some of the cartoons, especially the bomb-turban one, last week. But I figured, being on sabbatical of sorts, it would be seen as merely sensationalistic and opportuniistic of this blogger, a stunt of some kind. So I demurred. The Muhammad emoticon was just so silly, so trivial, though, I went with it.

Still no answer from the few who still drop by. Has any Memphis media outlet run the Danish cartoons, or the many response cartoon in their wake? Or even the vile Arab Muslim cartoons that have run for years now? I noticed yesterday that the CA has been running a few pro-Islam, "can't we just understand them so we can all get along?" pieces lately. But I couldn't find anything addressing the cartoons directly. Only Wendi Thomas' oblique remark about "discussions" behind the scenes.
mike hollihan | Homepage | 02.

Ah, spoke too soon. The Sunday CA addresses the issue. I can't speak for the paper edition, but the online version only has a link to a link to the offending cartoons (at the very bottom of just one article, to boot). Three degrees of separation oughta protect 'em, I guess.

The rest is professionals and academics telling you what you should think and feel. Notably missing is comment from Christian, Jewish or Muslim clerics. I'm gonna guess that's because it would differ rather strongly from the calming medicine the CA wants you to take.

I didn't see any mention of the addition of the three most offensive images in the cartoon packet that was promulgated around the Middle East by a Danish cleric seeking to inflame Muslims into action. Nor that some of the demonstrations happened in nations where the government *never* allows public demonstrations not sanctioned and organised by them.

The CA also repeats that "American media" hasn't shown the images. In fact, FOX News has shown at least one. They broadcast the "bomb turban" image on last week's FOX News Sunday program.

Also missing is the statement of why the CA appears to be dancing around a news story rather than directly and fully reporting it. I'm guessing "We're cowards." is too direct a statement for the obscurantists at the paper. Editor Peck's column repeatedly emphasises that this is "political." Good, he at least sees that. It is political -- freedom of speech is a cornerstone principle of Western liberal democracy. Too bad he apologises to his new Islamic masters instead.

His argument is something like this: We've offended plenty of people of all politics and religions over the years, so we have nothing to prove. We have the power to run them right now, if we want to. Good political cartoons are provocative; they cause a reaction and make you think. These cartoons are provocative and cause a reaction. So we're not running these cartoons. First Amendment rules! High fives everyone!

Yeah, right.

Like I said, the Islamofascists, the radical fundamentalists, have made this a First Amendment issue. They have thrown down a gauntlet and issued a challenge. Rather than confront it like true defenders -- put their money where their mouths have been lo! these many decades -- the CA (and I guess the other local media) have all bowed to Mecca.

Fear will do that.

Enjoy your dhimmi status in the New World Order. Don't forget to pay your jizya.

Monday, February 13, 2006