Rage against the cartoons

Update on Moday 10 am. If you are following this converation, stay with it long enough to read Daniel Robinson, who writes with firsthand knowledge of the Muslim world.

ls Here is a story–courtesy of The Washington Post–that has been brewing for awhile.

“PARIS, Feb. 2 — Protests against European newspapers’ publication of cartoons lampooning the prophet Muhammad gained momentum across the Islamic world Thursday as Pakistani schoolchildren burned French and Danish flags and Muslim presidents denounced the drawings. At the same time, more European news organizations printed or broadcast the caricatures, citing a need to defend freedom of expression.

In another day of confrontation between the largely secular nations of Europe and Muslim countries where religion remains a strong force in daily life, Islamic activists threatened more widespread protests and boycotts of European businesses. While some European officials sought to defuse the crisis, many journalists insisted that despite Islamic outrage, religious sensibilities should not result in censorship.

“We would have done exactly the same thing if it had been a pope, rabbi or priest caricature,” wrote Editor in Chief Serge Faubert in Thursday’s editions of France Soir, one of the newspapers that printed the cartoons.”

The eagle-eyed Kat called my attention to this issue about a week ago, and, frankly, I was hesitant to post an entry about it. In the earliest days of this blog, many of the most vitriolic anti-Daniel posts that we received we even more vitriolicly anti-Muslim. Most were deleted on reception. Their gist, to the extent that it can be rendered without obscenity-laced jingoism was that Christians are morally superior to Muslims because Christians only launch boycotts when their religion is insulted, while Muslims launch jihads.

I didn’t want to sit at my computer all day on bigotry patrol, so I decided to keep an eye on the issue before deciding whether to post something. I put this entry up now because a) the issue isn’t going away, and b) I think most people on the blog have gotten used to each other and this has allowed us to establish some level of civility.

I often conclude these entries by pitching in my own two cents. But my knees are too wobbly on this one ot take a stand. So I am in the market for a persuasive opinion.

By the way, this is a very hot blogging topic according to Slate. And the World Council of Churches has this to say.

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