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Entrenched Positions

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 17, 2006 at 14:20

Your counterpoints, Paul, are well argued and this, for me, has been a constructive interchange . We may not agree in the end, but perhaps we may have gained some understanding of each other's point of view.

The example regarding the ban on photos being published was made to highlight the fact that freedom of expression is not absolute. It can be restricted by governments if they so wish. Granted that the pictures are available for individuals to see, but newspapers in the US are not allowed to publish them and that is the point I wanted to make.

With regard to Egypt, the newspaper that printed the cartoons was either closed down pending a court case or some other legal action was taken against the paper immediately. This was the same for the Jordanian paper that printed the cartoons. Those countries have laws prohibiting the publication of such material. The French newspaper France Soir fired the managing editor. The Norwegian Prime minister and the Norwegian paper that ran the cartoons apologized. For those reasons there were no demonstrations against Egypt, Jordan, France, or Norway.The Danes, on the other hand, are maintaining their position and, of course, that is their right.

As to courts-of-law, unfortunately there are no laws against Islamophobia as there are against anti-semitism in Denmark, or anywhere else for that matter. So until there are such laws, people can go about demonizing peaceful Muslims stirring up racial hatred that will eventually lead to racial crimes (perhaps Islamophobes dont believe that such a thing as a peaceful Muslim exists, or that such a concept is even possible, when they--the Islamophobes-- know that even the Prophet of Islam was a terrorist himself).

The damage has been done, the demonstrations will eventually fizzle out, and perhaps some constructive lessons would have been learned by both sides.
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