My Last Word on the Cartoons
(Well, hopefully last word . . .)
There’s some good discussion taking place over on Flickr. I like to think I’ve summed up my thoughts as well as I am going to, at http://www.flickr.com/photos/dannyman/94765982/?#comment25268804:
I really value the discussion here. I think the correct answer is “Yes, these cartoons are offensive to a fair number of people, and it is rude to publish them.”
The reason I am violating this ethic is because I feel that there is a serious problem in the Muslim response. People are overreacting, hysterical … it points to a real problem with many followers of Islam.
I am an Atheist. My religious beliefs call for respect for everyone, but I know that we often fall short of these ideals. Among the greatest disrespect you can give to someone is to claim that their words are worthy of death. Death threats? No, words that bring about death threats must be repeated. The speech that brings about death threats needs to be louder than the death threats.
If Muslims–and many do–complain about these cartoons in a polite fashion, that’s all the more reason to withdraw the cartoons, apologise, and leave this issue behind us. Unfortunately, the radicals are getting all the press, and I for one am completely sick of it. Let us publish these cartoons far and wide until they would have to kill everyone! Let their hysteria grow ever louder, until the majority of people, who do have at least a basic intelligence, ask themselves “wait, we’re going to war … over cartoons?”
The cure for darkness is light. If the wackos want to scream and yell, I’ll scream and yell back. I think that ultimately, this helps illuminate the pettiness of religious zealots that have enslaved the lives of so many Muslims.
It may have started as an issue as to whether it is proper to publish a cartoon. Some of these cartoons, yes, they should not have been published. But now it is an issue as to whether Muslim faith is stronger than an offensive cartoon in a remote, non-Muslim country, or whether Islam is just a bunch of screaming, hysterical cry-babies who issue fatwas, threaten beheadings, and use the sligtest excuse to resort to violence, because that is not religious faith. It is evil, and evil has no place in my world.