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Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Another Take on the Danish Cartoons--Updated!

I haven't been hitting this story very hard because I've basically said the same thing from the beginning: The newspaper was wrong to print them and the Muslims are wrong to riot and burn down buildings in retaliation. As Lucianne puts it on her home page, the best response is a plague on both their houses.

Update: Of course, Jack Kelly is right when he points out that both sides are not equally wrong. Murder and arson are a lot worse than offending somebody's religion.

So the only entertaining thing left to do is to look at the reactions of Lefty bloggers. For the most part, as Myrhaf points out, they've been pretty quiet on this issue, probably because either side conflicts with their core beliefs.

On the one hand, most liberals are free speech enthusiasts. But they do make an exception for what they term "hate speech". But even in hate speech there are gradations. Liberals certainly have plenty of tolerance for hate speech directed at Christian religion. But minorities also come in for special consideration; can't offend anybody who's not in the majority.

In addition, it's pretty clear that for the last three years, the liberals have been hoping that the "Arab street" would rise up against the American Imperialists. Indeed, many of them seem to be rooting for the insurgency, which of course is at least partly inspired by religion.

Some of the comments on this post over at the Huffpo are revealing.

It appears easy for westerners to insist that muslims abide by our 'superior' cultural norms. We feel we can glibly tell them what they should think and feel and do like they are children. I've been reading comments like this all over the blogs.

But when you treat people like children, they can eventually get mad and finally boil over.

We need to stop telling 'them' how to act and feel and believe and look more clearly at ourselves. This situation has been baited. When the schoolyard bully goes outside and beats up little kids, it shocks him no end when the little kids riot and destroy the playground. We've brought war to an innocent muslim country, therefore I regard us as the bully. Yet we insist that they are supposed to cringe and just take it. That they are the ones who now must be 'tolerant.'
I see no tolerance whatsoever in this insistance.
Hey all you critics - it takes two to tango and you are one side of this.

Posted by: timemagician on February 06, 2006 at 09:34pm

But of course, mostly the "screw all religions" card comes out.

As to "respect" for "diversity", a distinction I feel is important is this: If your "difference" is something innate, such as race, gender, disability or sexual orientation, it is crucial to be tolerant and inclusive. If your "difference" is due to a belief system, it is YOUR responsibility to be fair, inclusive and rational in your dealings with others; you cannot claim my respect for your irrationality, but rather have to earn it through an ethical contribution to the social compact.

In the current War of Nutty Superstitions, Islam seems to be ahead, with Christianity and Scientology about tied for a close second place.

If you adhere to one of these, I do not respect your beliefs! And I do not apologize. Your beliefs are irrational, bigoted and destructive.

Free speech is about a marketplace of ideas. If you disagree with someone's opinion, you counter it with the best presentation you can muster for your own. If religions can't compete, so much the better for humankind.

Posted by: HereComesEverybody on February 06, 2006 at 10:31pm

I expect that eventually the Left will coalesce around this latter argument.

Update: Kudos to the New York Times (words you won't often see on this blog):

The easy points to make about the continuing crisis are that (a) people are bound to be offended if their religion is publicly mocked, and (b) the proper response is not to go on a rampage and burn down buildings. If Muslim organizations want to stage peaceful marches or organize boycotts of Danish goods, they're certainly within their rights.

The American Thinker points out that the Times was not quite so solicitous when it came to running an anti-Israel cartoon, and several commenters at News Busters note that anti-Christian imagery frequently makes its way into the Grey Lady. I strongly suspect that the Times ran a picture of the Virgin Mary made of elephant dung and Serrano's Piss Christ.

Hat Tip: Memeorandum
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