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I disagree

Reader comment on item: Bibliography – My Writings on the Rushdie Rules

Submitted by Chris Barrigar (Canada), Feb 9, 2006 at 04:53

Contra Daniel Pipes ("Cartoons and Islamic Imperialism", Feb.7), there are not two but three positions on the global cartoon conflict – two extremist positions, namely the violent Muslims and the self-righteous Westerners, and the moderate middle, shared by those Muslims and Westerners who favour some degree of self-restraint in our language and satire.

The first position we know from nightly media coverage of burning flags and embassies. The second we know from their shrill cry for absolute freedom of speech, to say whatever they want, regardless of the harm caused to society. The third, moderate, position argues that, ultimately, the purpose for freedom of speech is to make society a better place, and therefore there may be times when freedom of speech needs to be constrained, whether by law or by self-restraint. ...

Should the Danish cartoons be illegal? For various reasons, No, they should not be illegal. Yet the root of civilization is civility. Satire has its rightful place, but in the case of the European press, satire has resulted in incivility, losing sight of the overall well-being of society, as if peaceable Muslims don't count when it comes to the common good. Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten has been heavily criticized for apologizing, for its "self-censorship." I say its editors did the right thing by apologising, and showed more good sense about the well-being of democracy and society than the Western extremists, who persist in reproducing the offensive cartoons and who self-centredly insist on absolute freedom of speech. ...

Dr Chris Barrigar
Mount Royal, QC, Canada
Submitting....

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