Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Cartoon Saga Part II

Following on from my post yesterday, today brings news that the editor of France Soir, one of the newspapers that printed the Mohammed cartoons, has been sacked for offending muslims. Since when was that a sackable offence, I ask. What, by the way, is wrong with causing offence? There are a lot of things that a newspaper should worry about, for example, unwarranted breach of privacy, libel and slander. Causing offence is not one of them. If a newspaper cannot publish something like this, for fear of offending muslims, where does that leave the rest of us? I am surprised at France Soir, especially given that France is supposed to be a secular country. What are we all afraid of, I wonder. One question: was the editor sacked because the owner of the paper is a sensitive man, who wouldn't want to cause offence to anyone? Or was it because of fear of the possible repercussions to the newspaper from angry muslims? I have a fair idea which it is, and if that is the case, things have come to a sorry pass. We should all be afraid, not only of angry muslims, but also because of the damage this is doing to our society. One of the major differences between a democracy and a dictatorship is the existence of a free press. This insidious dictatorship is not that of one man, but rather that of an alien culture that we are all too frightened to confront.
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6 Comments:

Blogger Elise said...

this is just another evidence that the arab world does not understand the separation between the state and the press, and freedom of speech.

i'm catholic, i've seen jesus and the pope john paul II depicted in awful ways, but i didn't start a holy war.

it's time that islam reform itself, and that we (europeans) do not bow to islamofascism.

salmam rushdie, theo van gogh, hirsi ali, how much must we tolerate?

12:40 PM  
Blogger Bel said...

salmam rushdie, theo van gogh, hirsi ali, how much must we tolerate?

Exactly, elise. That is the problem. When we had the first inkling of this with Salman Rushdie all those years ago, we should have been bold enough to confront this nonsense. If I remember rightly, the language then was rather placatory. This has been going on for far too long. The Tate taking down a work of art, etc etc. It is time we were bold enough to say 'enough is enough, this is not how we do things in a democracy'.I am sick to the back teeth of all this talk of 'offending sensibilities'. Since when is it our duty as a society to refrain from offending anyone? Injury to feelings is not a crime, nor should it be. As far as I'm aware, we are not ruled by the Koran here. I might even go as far as to say that all of this appears to be a non-violent way of imposing Islamic rule by the back door. I dare anyone who is in the mood to challenge that assertion.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Tory Convert said...

There was something on the radio about apologies being demanded from "France" and "Denmark" over the incident. Whoever demands such an apology obviously has no concept that the French and Danish states are in no way responsible for what appears in the press.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Bel said...

Whoever demands such an apology obviously has no concept that the French and Danish states are in no way responsible for what appears in the press.

They are obviously used to the political climate in their various dictatorships where the State has full control of the media.

4:37 PM  
Blogger Elise said...

i read some gossip (don't know if it's true) that these problems started when a group of radical muslims from denmark went to saudi arabia and showed fake cartoons (ex. a cartoon that portrayed muhammed as a paedophile) to the royal family.

today i read that a director of a jordan journal published three of the dannish cartoons and asked:

what is worse? this cartoon or a suicide bombing?

someone is trying to make sense in the arab world.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Bel said...

today i read that a director of a jordan journal published three of the dannish cartoons and asked:
what is worse? this cartoon or a suicide bombing?


One might assume that the editor's question was rhetorical.However, the sad fact is that some of his readers may not see it that way. We are not dealing with rational people.

5:37 PM  

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