Danish Cartoons - Deafening Silence

I haven't seen many comments on LISNews regarding the Danish cartoons.


In keeping with my practice of limiting political journal entries to once a week, I was going to bring this up next Thursday. Given the escalating situtation, I expect there will be LISNews stories. Have you submitted any? If not, please do.I firmly believe that the Danes should not have apologized. No government or newspaper needs to apologize. Yes, the cartoon was probably more insulting to Muslims than the infamous "piss Christ" was in this country, but we in the free world believe (or are supposed to) in free expression, especially in our own countries.Rioting is not an acceptable response and should be dealt with like any other riot. European non-citizens who riot over this should be deported to their home countries.Any Muslim government that tolerates reprisals against westerners should be met with a complete pullout of western citizens from their countries. Let the Saudis run their oil fields on their own.While I don't agree with the idea, I accept that Muslim countries can regulate expression in their home countries. But they cannot expect us to cater to all their cultural norms in our own countries. They have their culture, we have ours. If they can't handle that, let them break contact with the rest of the world.

"BTW, why should you care about anonymous posting?"

My only concern is being able to distinguish speakers. I *think* I have a feel for your voice, but I might confuse your statements with other anon posters. Actually I think you sound like Tomeboy, but I'm confident he'd log in.

You certainly have a right to stay anon, but you're in such command of your sources and make enough points that I'd like to refer to you as an individual instead of saying "here's an anon person who knows enough to source his or her claims." In short, I'd like to cite you as an example of reasoned debate. But you certainly don't need to cater to my whims.

Your point about needing a transcript of Cooper is well taken, and the official State Dept response is heartening. If I happen to run across a transcript, I'll let you know.

Perhaps, but the official spokesman for the State Department is Sean McCormack. I suspect that his word is the official policy of the State Department. It is available on the State Department's Daily briefing page:


I can't locate the transcript for Mr. Cooper's quote but I'd really rather see the transcript of what Mr. Copper actually said rather than relying upon Reuters. I can't say for sure in this situation but Reuters has been known to selectively use quotes thereby changing the context of what was actually said.

Sadly, our government seems to be more exercised about this than when Rwandan radio stations were broadcasting genocide instructions back in the Clinton days.

Different Administration and different policies; however, I am unsure about the point you are attempting to make.

BTW, why should you care about anonymous posting?

I hadn't seen your quote before, but I accept it.However, other people in the State Dept have been offering a different message:

Inserting itself into a dispute that has become a lightning rod for anti-European sentiment across the Muslim world, the United States sided with Muslims outraged that the publications put press freedom over respect for religion."These cartoons are indeed offensive to the belief of Muslims," State Department spokesman Kurtis Cooper said in answer to a question."We all fully recognize and respect freedom of the press and expression, but it must be coupled with press responsibility. Inciting religious or ethnic hatreds in this manner is not acceptable."

Kurtis Cooper appears to be with the State Department's Office of Press Relations (scroll to bottom).A cartoon on a taboo subject OUTSIDE of the area where it is considered to be taboo simply doesn't rise to the level of inciting religious or ethnic hatreds.We accept that traditional Muslim societies do things differently and are obligated to respect those traditions when we visit their countries. But the extremists among them need to accept that bad taste doesn't exact a blood price and they cannot expect the entire world to have the religious sensistivities of Saudi Arabia. If they don't like it, I say they're welcome to throw us out. We can go on a crash biodiesel program.Sadly, our government seems to be more exercised about this than when Rwandan radio stations were broadcasting genocide instructions back in the Clinton days.BTW, you're very well informed for a totally anonymous patron. Have you considered getting an account, or at least taking on a handle like Ender, Duke of URL?

Funny yet informative, I didn't know about the children's book... link here

Daniel, I'm not so sure the U.S. State Department said what you claim they said. Here is what the State Department spokesman (Scott McCormack) said:

MR. MCCORMACK: I haven't seen any - first of all, this is matter of fact. I haven't seen it. I have seen a lot of protests. I've seen a great deal of distress expressed by Muslims across the globe. The Muslims around the world have expressed the fact that they are outraged and that they take great offense at the images that were printed in the Danish newspaper, as well as in other newspapers around the world.

Our response is to say that while we certainly don't agree with, support, or in some cases, we condemn the views that are aired in public that are published in media organizations around the world, we, at the same time, defend the right of those individuals to express their views. For us, freedom of expression is at the core of our democracy and it is something that we have shed blood and treasure around the world to defend and we will continue to do so. That said, there are other aspects to democracy, our democracy - democracies around the world - and that is to promote understanding, to promote respect for minority rights, to try to appreciate the differences that may exist among us.

We believe, for example in our country, that people from different religious backgrounds, ethnic backgrounds, national backgrounds add to our strength as a country. And it is important to recognize and appreciate those differences. And it is also important to protect the rights of individuals and the media to express a point of view concerning various subjects. So while we share the offense that Muslims have taken at these images, we at the same time vigorously defend the right of individuals to express points of view. We may - like I said, we may not agree with those points of view, we may condemn those points of view but we respect and emphasize the importance that those individuals have the right to express those points of view.

I'm not sure where you got your information about what the State Department said, but this sounds pretty good to me.

Jews are likely cartooned in Hamas papers

As you may or may not know, it isn't limited to Hamas papers - try most of the Arab and Persian world.

Although the blogger you referenced does call for the violence to be denounced and dealt with, I think he lets the extremists off too easy by saying that the cartoons shouldn't be published for reasons of taste. To me, that plays into the hands of people of the people who rioted or went hunting for Westerners.It also greatly disappointed me to see both Washington and Whitehall say that the cartoons should never have been published. For two nations so eager to shed blood, they should have more courage to stand up for basic western values. Not even free expression as such, but that free people should not be intimidated into silence by threats of violence.If we accept that cartoons of the prophet should never be made, what happens when extremists riot over bathing suit ads? Or over dresses that show ankles?On the other hand, it is the right of any Muslim offended by these cartoons to practice any sort of nonviolent protest or boycott they please. But no government should be making ANY statements of support for violent protestors.And yes, if the new Hamas gov't is encouraging anti-Western rioting in response to cartoons, I'm fine with pulling the plug on our aid. Particularly since I shudder to think how Jews are likely cartooned in Hamas papers.

I can't say for certain that it is more insulting, but the prohibition on depicting images of either God or Muhammad is one of the strongest taboos in Islam. It is recognized as such by every Muslim sect I'm aware of, although in the middle ages I believe there MIGHT have been one group who did depict the Prophet.In Christianity, not everyone uses Crucifixes and some (in my view) extreme Christians believe that depicting Christ on the Cross somehow invalidates the Resurrection. Then there are iconclasts still in Christianity who would object to any depiction of Christ. For these groups, seeing a crucifix in urine would be no big deal. So we're not totally united in our rage.

An interesting reaction here.

BTW welcome back PChuck!

Why is this more insulting than andres serrano's piss work?

But you certainly don't need to cater to my whims.

You are correct.

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