"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Fanning the Flames

The letter in the post below "Freedom and Racism" was printed in the Irish Times today, but the debate and my position on the issue is slightly fluid.

This is a response to someone who disagrees with my view:

I'd like to put this to 'bed' as it were (but the Irish Times printed the letter today so it is back in my mind) because I doubt there can be any agreement, although I think there is much common ground. I would like to exist in an environment where free speech in the media +really+ existed, I think this case identifies the reality.

The reaction from 'extremist Muslims' has been extremely OTT and this issue should be addressed, just as Muslim community representatives have called for. This is a police matter.
This exercise in 'free speech' was a corporate/government manipulation, the very thing this site is meant to identify. Imagine a literal version of the cartoon and apply the propaganda model. We should not have to accept the violent reaction we are witnessing, though through the distorted vision of the media, but the Danish prime minister's call for 'debate on grounds of mutual tolerance and respect' must be satisfying for the instigator and even more enraging for the target.

The corporate media has orchestrated this fiasco for its own ends and has been successful. In the guise of free speech.

As I said to Focus, terrorism is not restricted to Muslims yet we are unlikely to ever see Western medias hold hands in support for a cartoon portraying a 'Western' equivalent to Muhammed (is there one?) in the same manner.

The cartoons message is about as constructive as saying all Catholic Priests are pedos (the similarity for this analogy goes back to the priests accepted role as doing 'the work of god' and how offensive you find terrorism).

The cartoonists right to draw the cartoon - perfectly acceptable.

The newspapers right to print it - perfectly acceptable.

The medias right to fan the flames of racial/religious/foreign hatred (for whos ends?) - unacceptable.


Full debate:

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