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Jyllands-Posten cartoons stupid, monstrously arrogant, and self-righteous

Reader comment on item: Something Rotten in Denmark?
in response to reader comment: about the jyllands-Posten cartoons

Submitted by John F. Ladenburger (USA) (United States), Feb 3, 2006 at 13:52

The chief editor of Jyllands-Posten has been quoted in the media as saying that the purpose of the cartoons was "to examine whether people would succumb to self-censorship, as we have seen in other cases when it comes to Muslim issues." This is done by a premeditated, unprovoked, and completely unnecessary attack on the sensibilities and fundamental values of a major world religion couched in a questionable allusion to the rights of a free press. But press freedom is not the real issue. If it were, we could reasonably surmise that you are also free to yell "Fire! Fire!" in a crowded theater. The outcome of such an outburst would certainly be predictable---panic, outrage, even arrest by the authorities. The cheif editor has alluded to another agenda---"other" Muslim issues.

What can we infer about someone who knows that Muhammed is regarded as the most sacred prophet to millions of Muslim believers, that it is an abominable violation to caricature Muhammed in a favorable or unfavorable manner, and then launches a premeditated, unprovoked, and completely unnecessary attack on Muhammed by caricaturing him as a barbaric terrorist.

Could we reasonably have predicted that Muslims would be offended? Could we reasonably have predicted that the reaction would spread throughout the Muslim world? Could we reasonably have predicted that this entire spectacle damages the interests of Western Europe and the United States? Of course.

In an increasingly interdependent world characterized by rapidly growing globalization, most reasonable people would argue that it's to one's advantage to go about making friends rather than enemies. The chief editor of Jyllands-Posten apparently doesn't think so. This reflects incredible stupidity, montrous arrogance, diligent self-righteousness, and a parochial naivete. Cutting off your nose in spite of your face is a painful self-inflicted injury.

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