Monday, February 06, 2006

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Attacking Islam for terrorism is like attacking Jesus for the Inquisition. IT WASN'T HIS FAULT...

So we attack the religion for the perversions that the leaders of the Muslim nations shove down the throats of their citizens. The real purpose of Islamic fundamentalism is to enable these oligarchs to keep their people busy and distracted from the wretched conditions of their lives. If half the energy that goes into these demonstrations went into economic development imagine how conditions in Islamic countries would change... development that would lead to people questioning and feeling free to vocalize their questions about the way their countries are run.
And it seems like it would be so easy to focus on the oligarch's corruption and make it well known.

We spend more thought dreaming up Superbowl halftime shows than really applying ourselves to real solutions to this issue. 

Posted by dave

Monday, February 06, 2006 11:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post and comment (Dave) I wonder about our Western sacrament of free speech - is it truly about responsibility to be fair, truthful and not deliberatly provacative without cause? Freedom to do what?

I haven't seen any MSM photos or TV productions showing partial birth abortion for example and what in the blazes is the enemy of free speech more then the left's oneupmanship of soviet heavy handedness-that monster called political correctness. The race card is often designed to shut off free and truthful speech - free speech is quite selective in the USA, if one bothers to look. 

Posted by DL

Tuesday, February 07, 2006 7:40:00 AM  
Blogger Edward Ott said...

hmmm i wonder how you would react to a cartoon protraying bringham young and joseph smith as homsexuals or such. 

Posted by ed

Thursday, February 09, 2006 5:36:00 PM  

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