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Re: Re:Lack of understanding

Reader comment on item: How the Cartoon Protests Harm Muslims [by Leading to a Separation of Civilizations]
in response to reader comment: Lack of understanding remains

Submitted by Bader S (United Arab Emirates), Feb 16, 2006 at 07:02

If I understood your first paragraph correctly, it is up to the attacked to understand the motives of his/her attacker, is that right?

Using freedom of expression to publish cartoons that attack the most revered person in the Muslim world and then asking the Muslims to understand the idea behind the right to publish those cartoons is like spitting in someone's face and then asking that person to understand that the right to spit includes spitting in his/her face since there is no written law that prohibits this. The only law that exists is the un-written law of common decency. A violent reaction by the person whose face was spat upon may very well be condemned, but some might expect such a reaction from the aggrieved party (be it right or wrong).

A more civilized reply would be to revert to the rule-of –law and to settle the matter in court. But which court can the Muslims revert to in order to stop this form of attack when even the Danish Prime Minister refused to see 11 Muslim Ambassadors back in September 2005, when these cartoons were first published, who wished to convey their concerns The Prime Minister of that liberal and democratic country did not want to enter into dialogue at that time, but now that embassies and flags have been burned and Danish companies are losing money his position has changed.

I agree with you that that the freedoms of speech and expression have done much to bring about dialogue, but in the case of these cartoons what dialogue was created? And if the publishers of these cartoons wanted to open a dialogue about the right to attack the sanctity of the person of the Prophet, was this the best way to go about it?

You, sir, say that, "What should come across is that "freedom of expression" is subjected to the principle of "voluntary restraint", which is a nothing more than some form of auto-censorship in the interest of civil society. However, there are no laws or codes that regulate it, and hopefully never will." The law prohibiting the publishing of photos showing coffins of dead US soldiers sent back from Iraq proves the incorrectness of your above statement. However, Muslims should also understand double standards, right?

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