|02-05-2006, 12:42 PM||#1|
Angling in the Deep
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Texas Riviera, Southern Mountains
What Price Must Be Paid For Free Speech?
I see most media outlets here still refuse to publish the cartoons that Muslims have found so offensive that they are
burning embassies and calling for assasiantions of anyone that doesn't apoligize for publishing them.
Shame on CNN, FOX, ABC, etc, etc... for being held hostage by a fanatical religious faction!!!!!!!!
What price must be paid for free speech?
The great debate gathered pace over a remarkable week on whether the right to express a view - whatever the cost in terms of damage to racial and religious harmony - must be defended without question.
ANDREW ROBERTS, historian
“I have seen the cartoons and was unimpressed by them. They are the intellectual equivalent equivalent of shouting “fire” in a crowded cinema. While there is a need for a genuine discussion about the rights of the West to define its own boundaries of free speech, these cartoons are trite, purposely provocative and unnecessary. In this case, the protesting Muslims have a point.
“Western civilisation loses out if these insulting images are the best critique that we can make. But I would point out that many Muslims, particularly in the Arab world, would have a stronger argument in favour of censorship if they began to withdraw the anti-Jewish, and occasionally antiChristian, cartoons that often appear in their own newspapers.”
TARIQ MODOOD, Professor of Sociology, Politics and Public Policy at the University of Bristol
“This week Parliament, supported by the liberal intelligentsia, decided that religious hatred was a lesser problem than racial hatred and could be effectively dealt with by weaker legislation. Events in the world are testing this view. While some want to demonstrate their right to provoke religious people, others want to demonstrate their right to be provoked. The ideal that there might be a culture of mutual respect looks forlorn, but are we also to give up on the second best of conflict-avoidance?
“In any case, satire should check the powerful, not hurt the powerless. The underlying causes of the Muslim anger is a deep sense that they are not respected, that they and their most cherished feelings are ‘fair game’.”
PETER BROOKES, Times cartoonist
“I only saw the drawings yesterday. My first reaction was ‘what feeble cartoons’. Perhaps I don’t understand Danish humour, but there was only one out of the 12 — where Muhammad’s turban seems to be a bomb — that seemed to have any meaning.
“But even that one is a poor cartoon. It is ambivalent. You can read it one of two ways: either terrorism is using the cloak of Islam, is dressing itself as Muhammad, or that Muhammad himself is a terrorist. I hate that ambivalence in a cartoon, not knowing quite what the message is. We could be misreading the intentions of the artist entirely.
“There is an awful duality about cartoonists: on the one hand, we feel we must be able to depict anything, we must be free. So as a rule, I try not to be too sensitive about these things, and all cartoonists are guilty of doing things when we have no idea what the reaction is going to be.
“And yet, as a cartoonist, I think there has to be a purpose. I cannot see any reason for these images; they just seem gratuitous. They are meaningless. Depicting Islam, there is no need to show the Prophet.
“Of course now there is so much happening, everything is moving so fast, that this looks like it will all go on and on. And, ironically, we will have to do cartoons about it.”
ZIAUDDIN SARDAR, author of Desperately Seeking Paradise: The Journey of a Sceptical Muslim
“I have spent a lifetime criticising Islam and Muslims, but I am absolutely infuriated by these cartoons. They are a provocative and premeditated insult against Islam, and a violent abuse of power. What people must remember is that we are watching the repetition of an argument that took place in Europe during the Thirties. Then, we were discussing the right to depict Jews in cartoons with racial stereotypes. Now, we are discussing the right to show Muslims.”
ROGER SCRUTON, philosopher
“People of different religions or none can co-exist — so we hope, and so we have reason to believe. But co-existence with someone requires respect for the icons, rituals and symbols of his faith.
“It is as wrong to mock the religious taboos of a Muslim as it is to pour scorn on the icons of Christianity. Unfortunately, because we have got used to the continual childish blasphemy against the Christian faith that passes for sophistication in the film industry, on television and in the art schools, we think that others, whose experience of Western society is more recent and who are not yet inoculated against its hooligan iconoclasm, will also respond with a saddened shrug when people pour scorn on their faith.
“We have so lost the habit of respect for sacred things that we are astonished to discover that others can still be devastated by public acts of desecration. This kind of blasphemy is not a form of free speech, any more than pornography is. On the contrary, it is the kind of behaviour that makes free speech impossible.”
A.C. GRAYLING, philosopher
“Free speech is the fundamental civil liberty. Without it none of the others is possible. I applaud the newspapers in Europe that have shown solidarity with Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten newspaper by reprinting the cartoons, and regard our own Foreign Secretary as pusillanimous in buckling to the artificially inflated hysteria of those who think that feeling offended gives them a licence to censor other people’s freedom to criticise and satirise whomever they wish.”