The use of Reason and reasonable argumentation, the reclaiming of the idea of Progress and the struggle against dogma. In this post-modern world, reinventing Enlightenment is of the utmost importance.

Friday, February 03, 2006

All hot about cartoons

The big news in the global media is the row over the Danish cartoons poking fun at Islam. I have so far not seen the pics of shame and to be honest I am not that curious. From what I heard it seems rather banal banter and I can predict confidently that on seeing the cartoons I won’t be shocked. But then again, I am not a Muslim, why should I be shocked? Here lies an important point, for atheist Europeans they may seem innocuous but it is obvious they are not if you are of a Muslim faith.

The protests began not with the first publication of the cartoons as illustration to a book on Islam, but only when they were reprinted in a newspaper soon after. Following the scandal, all over Europe the liberal and conservative press hoisted the flag of freedom of speech and once again reprinted the cartoons, even giving them first page coverage. For their European readers in pics in themselves were a non-event, what mattered was the scandal - the cavalier disregard of what the culturally distant other, the Muslims might feel; always done in the noble name of freedom. It was the abuse that sold newspapers.

It is freedom of speech to have the means to draw these cartoons and publish them. It is insult to repeatedly publish them, over and over again, once you know they might offend. Over a score of days the Middle East has shown its outrage in the streets. The voices of discontentment are not the usual suspects- i.e. Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine. This time anger runs from North Africa to the friendly Arabs of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The Muslim faithful have understood the affront.

If this was a battle over the ills of religion I might even have supported the provocation, but done for the sake of dividing the world in religious hatred, it does us no good.


Anonymous antonio sousa said...

outro comentario a ver...

11:55 AM

Anonymous antonio said...

deixa ver mais um...nunca se sabe

12:07 PM


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