Just A Quick Thought on "Provocative" Cartoons
Given the now-abundant evidence, as noted by Austin Bay, that much of the violent "outrage" in Islamic countries is orchestrated by self-serving interests (read: Syrian government), perhaps it is time for commentators in the West (to use an excessively broad term) to re-think the way they want to attack Islamic fascism.
- Maybe a cartoon satirizing bin Laden or Zarquawi, or attacking suicide bombing in general, would serve the purposes of freedom more than attacking a cherished religious symbol? Austin Bay is right in saying that in this case, "there is an ugly component that implicates the 'free speech' advocates — that of provocation contra faith. All too many western 'free speech extremists' lack any sense of reverence."
- Maybe attacking the real, live people who are actually perpetrating atrocities world-wide, instead of attacking the belief system they use an excuse for those atrocities, would be better?
- Maybe some thought could be given to the apparent fact that the so-called "provocative" cartoons actually handed those very perpetrators (for example, the Syrian government) a propaganda tool? As David Rennie reports, the Danish cartoons, which were little-noticed at first, enabled a group of Danish Muslims to undertake a multi-nation tour to incite Islamic outrage.
- Maybe we in the West should focus attention on bloodthirsty creeps like Zarquawi more than demonstrations of Islamic outrage against Western blasphemy of Mohammed?
The Tim Rutten piece linked in Ralph Kostant's post just below has me thinking. Rutten makes several reasonable points, but he lost me when he said "The European media may have behaved in a provocative fashion this week, but it was provocation in a good cause. "
I'm not so sure. I agree with the cause, broadly speaking, but I wonder about provocation as a useful tool in these circumstances. I think shining the light on the real culprits is more important (and effective) than provoking an outcry over what so many people, rightly or wrongly, see as blasphemy.
For more thoughts along the same lines, see Hugh Hewitt's blog.
UPDATE: Welcome, Hugh's readers. Aside from this post, I think the posts Hugh wanted to refer you to are the four immediately below, but especially this one.