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Old 02-02-2006, 10:27 PM   #136
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Does that extend to censorship of said cartoons?
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Old 02-02-2006, 10:34 PM   #137
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Does that extend to censorship of said cartoons?

that is what I said


"I advocate not printing humiliating cartoons in newspapers-
that were created solely for the purpose of agitating Muslims."


Quote:
originally posted by A_Wanderer


I reiterate that making a cartoon of Jesus ejaculating over Mary while being done over by Joseph would be a depiction of supremely bad taste - but I think that I could safely draw and distribute something like that without having to worry about personal safety.

if newspapers refused to print your cartoon

i would not consider it a loss of free speech
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Old 02-02-2006, 10:36 PM   #138
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But if the papers were under legal obligation to not print such cartoons?
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Old 02-02-2006, 10:45 PM   #139
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I bought Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses
when they put the Fatwa on him in 1989.

These cartoons have one intent.
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Old 02-02-2006, 10:54 PM   #140
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In the US billboards (along streets, highways, sides of buildings, etc.) are often privately owned, and it is generally perfectly permissible to feature religious messages, inflammatory political invective, etc. on them.

What if a certain party wished to rent a few billboards to feature the Jyllands-Posten cartoons (Free Speech--Pass It On!) for the patriotic edification of passers-by? Should such a public platform for these images be allowed by the government? If not, how is it different from a nationally widely read, e-accessible, privately owned daily (which is probably seen by more people than any one batch of billboards) running them? Would it be a spineless, simpering act of self-censorship in the face of Muslim wrath for a billboard owner to refuse the offer?
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Old 02-02-2006, 11:16 PM   #141
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Have you actually seen all the cartoons in question? The Mohammed Cresent one is quite an endearing portrayal and the mischevous schoolboy too, how about the self portrait of the cartoonist with PR stunt splashed on the picture? The man is obviously an important historical figure why should we who do not follow the scripture abide by it's principles?

You are saying that speech must be judged on the basis of intent and limiting of it when there is ill-intent is justified. Free speech is indivisible, you cannot claim that there is free speech when offensive speech is banned. You also touched upon self-censorship, this is a problem as well because when the press is under pressure to supress depictions and stories that reflect poorly upon certain groups the truth is a casualty.

For somebody who supports free speech in protest against the Bush administration when it crushes liberties at home how can you oppose free speech when it is confronting the encroaching fist of censorship abroad? Are you being consistent in your views - I have defended Nazi hate speech, cartoons calling Colin Powell a "house nigger", anti-semitism and the most insane of the anti-war protest banners (I will use it to illustrate the agenda and nature of groups, what people say is the best tool against them - but I don't say that they shouldnt have the right to say it), I am in full agreement with the ACLU on matters of free speech and I do not think that is a bad thing. I do not believe in anything divine in the world and I believe that individual human beings have on a genetic level a more or less equal inherent potential, I support the concepts of individual rights regardless of race or religious belief - I support the concept of true universal suffrage even after it leads to outcomes that are less than desireable.

Sacred beliefs are just ideas, ideas that human beings have constructed over the centuries. In my worldview there is absolutely no divine revelation, all the so-called prophets who experienced these and used them to their ends were power hungry, insane or both. Why should atheists have to abide by and respect the absurd lies that believers suspend their critical thinking to believe. You paint me with a big broad anti-Muslim bias as if it is my be all and end all cause to be - I disagree, I have read quite a few books on Islamic history, from Gibbon to Bernard Lewis, Ibn Warriq and a plethora of Muslim Brotherhood type groups and their websites. I fully accept that the Caliphate was the preeminant power of it's day and it was only later on that the western world was able to rise to dominance, I see the history not as a battle of faith but one of political and social conflict, of the spread of a religion not always by the sword and of a set of scriptural laws that function in the context of the society that they arose in (for instance not judging Aisha as the bride of a paedophile because 7th Century Arabia was not the same as the 21st Century globalised world, the millet system of the Ottoman Empire was functional, Dhimmitude too is restrictive but compared with religious freedoms in Europe at the time better in many respects). In context the expansion of Islam into Europe from the Battle of Tours which Creasy descroned as the dominance over the semitic races (19th Century parlance again) to the second siege of Vienna - these were not peaceful engagements, there was stipulation in the conduct of warfare - Jihad - not merely internal stuggle against vice but physical struggle; that has been played out all through history, with concepts that are today archaic and removed from what we consider humane but at the time quite justified. I do not hate the faith any more than I hate other religions - to which I certainly have a degree of antipathy I suspect that your ad hominem attack on my motives and consistent dodging of the question of mandated censorship are related (this speech is anti-Muslim, only Islamophobes would support it aides in making it seem that this expression isn't worthy, that it falls outside a new barrier of what constitutes free speech), I also think that logically if you support free expression against the Bush administration, against Christians but oppose it against Muslims, Sikhs and Jews then then you find a fallacy in your thinking.

There is absolutely no right not to be offended. People get offended by everything, I can accept that but we all deal with it, believer and unbeliever alike, I don't hold any religious views sacred - when one religious group gets the idea that legal protections are an entitlement I think that is dangerous and a good course of pushing the limits is warranted to defend those rights. In the words of William Shatner, "it sickens me" to give ideas, especially ones that run entirely contrary to my personal worldview immunity from criticism and mockery. To be under the threat of physical violence for just expressing an opinion and and depicting a figure of reverence who's followers have at times caused a bit of havok is sickening. To live in a society beholden to to fear where we cannot enjoy discourse in whatever we desire is illiberal and is not worth living in.

Once you start banning speech because it offends certain people you have forfeited free speech rights. Now the question of religion is simple, religion is ideas and ideology that deserves absolutely no protection. Nothing is sacred to us all and must not be granted that status under law. Race on the other hand gets into a bit more dificult territory, one cannot change their race, ethnicity as a mixture of race and religion (e.g. Sikh and Jew) are a margin. Islam and Christianity fail those tests though and such questions are irrelevent in this case.

The no-harm principle of liberty is logically sound and supports the right to free speech. I will support that liberty to the logical extreme, the point at which the speech itself incites violence (which this speech does not) and causes harm (which does not include offense to belief or ego).
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Old 02-02-2006, 11:19 PM   #142
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
In the US billboards (along streets, highways, sides of buildings, etc.) are often privately owned, and it is generally perfectly permissible to feature religious messages, inflammatory political invective, etc. on them.

What if a certain party wished to rent a few billboards to feature the Jyllands-Posten cartoons (Free Speech--Pass It On!) for the patriotic edification of passers-by? Should such a public platform for these images be allowed by the government? If not, how is it different from a nationally widely read, e-accessible, privately owned daily (which is probably seen by more people than any one batch of billboards) running them? Would it be a spineless, simpering act of self-censorship in the face of Muslim wrath for a billboard owner to refuse the offer?
It may well have been an act of spineless self-censorship for the owner of the French paper to fire the editor who run the pictures but it was his right to do so.

Owners of private property also have the right to put billboards up with a message or refuse to put them up.

Free speech is not a right to get a piece published by default, it is a right for a piece to be created and to not have government censorship barriers in place.
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Old 02-03-2006, 12:02 AM   #143
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Free speech is not a right to get a piece published by default, it is a right for a piece to be created and to not have government censorship barriers in place.
Very nicely put.

Do you think there is any intrinsic tension between this lack of right to be published by default, and the pressure on media institutions to prove themselves beyond reproach when it comes to their courage in supporting "the struggle for free speech" (and fierceness of opposition to the oft-offended)?

I am thinking perhaps less of Jyllands-Posten here (though that too) than a rash of recent cases at American universities involving student-run papers who justified running strident Holocaust-revisionist or neo-Nazi opinion pieces with the explicit argument, "If we can't print this, then we can't print anything."

I am very much enjoying this discussion. (Though it would perhaps be good if I learned to enjoy going to bed at a decent hour, as well.)
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Old 02-03-2006, 12:20 AM   #144
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Do you think there is any intrinsic tension between this lack of right to be published by default, and the pressure on media institutions to prove themselves beyond reproach when it comes to their courage in supporting "the struggle for free speech" (and fierceness of opposition to the oft-offended)?
I feel that mainstream media organisations are businesses and they will generally tow a line favourable to economic interests, it may also be fair to argue that there is a culture within certain journalistic circles (put by Autralian journo David Marr, journalists have to have a soft-left bias) that may lead to bias - bias can be beaten with strong editorial policy and scrutiny (The ABC News here is much better than our SBS or the BBC).

In this case I really feel that a lot of media outlets are not risking it and will not republish the cartoons - that is their prerogative. I think we can criticise that without demanding that they have to publish the cartoons. I also feel that when it comes to controversy Christianity has just been done to death, there is literally nothing within the barriers of the law that I could do that could elicit the same magnitude of response - this is a cultural thing I understand that, but if practitioners of Islam genuinely want to be part of the social fabric in Western Europe it requires abandoning absolutist superiority complexes and accepting that they will not be any more immune from criticism than other religions. Papers that do print the sort of material that is genuinely controversial (pictures of war crimes, evidence of government abuses and religious crimes) and do so without fear or favour (many papers printed the Abu Ghraib pictures after the war, how many showed Saddam era torture?).

Pushing the limits in terms of opposing the government of the day is a no brainer, that stuff is not going to generate much controversy. Attacking sacred cows of the loudest sections of the community however (Jesus, affirmative action, arts funding etc.) will generate a bit of heat - thats a good thing, it's healthy for a society to be able to do this. Mohammed and Islam on the other hand seem to be a bit haram even to secular journalists and newspapers, I really feel that this is not healthy for society as a whole - I think that this is taken to an extreme level in national boycotts and death threats, I understand it's being confrontational to put this stuff right out there but so was professing atheism in Europe a few centuries ago let alone the religious crimes perpetrated through the ages. It was only through this heat (partly generated by burning catholics ) that societies were able to reach a stage where criticism could be tolerated without murder (for the most part). Sacrificing this hard earned right of religious pluralism because other cultures lack this attribute is dangerous, ideologically I would put defence of my cherished belief in freedom of religion and secularism well above animosity towards any religion (hence why I find those who want to erradicate religion to be supremely wrong).
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Old 02-03-2006, 12:40 AM   #145
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
bias can be beaten with strong editorial policy and scrutiny (The ABC News here is much better than our SBS or the BBC).
Could you elaborate a bit on what this bias looks like and how a strong editorial policy goes about "beating" it...so that I'm clear how this ties into the overall picture of what we're discussing?

: goes wearily back to grading student paper no. 46 on freedom of information in international law : If 40% of these papers were as articulate as 80% of the posts in this thread, I would be delighted. I am not.
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Old 02-03-2006, 01:00 AM   #146
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Ensuring that use of language is consistent - not deliberately misquoting (for instance reports quoting an Israeli spokesperson saying "militants" when they actually said "terrorists"). Ensuring that there is a degree of objectivity - for instance not weeping as Yasser Arafat is flown out of the Palestinian Territories like a certain BBC reporter. We percieve the media with a set of prejudices, but when I say that ABC news preserves objectivity and neutrality well I do so knowing that many right wing commentators disagree with that and hate the public broadcaster.

If there are proscribed standards that are obeyed in a professional manner with independent oversight (for public broadcasters) then potential bias is kept in check. When a social or political agenda (such as social justice) is laced into pieces that are not opinion that causes problems.

Fox News is not objective, but then they aren't taxpayer funded.
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Old 02-03-2006, 01:54 AM   #147
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Quote:
Muslims attack Danish embassy building in Jakarta

JAKARTA, Feb 3 (Reuters) -- About 300 militant Indonesian Muslims went on a rampage inside the lobby of a Jakarta building housing the Danish embassy on Friday in protest over cartoons that Muslims say insult Islam and the Prophet Mohammad.

Shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest), the white-clad protesters from the hardline Islamic Defender's Front (FPI) smashed lamps with bamboo sticks and threw chairs around in anger at cartoons originally published by a Danish daily.

They also threw rotten eggs and tomatoes at the Danish embassy symbol inside the lobby. The embassy is on the 25th floor of the building and protesters were unable to get past security in the lobby, a Reuters photographer said.

About 100 Indonesian policemen watched the FPI protesters as they made fiery speeches calling on the government of the world's most populous Muslim nation to sever diplomatic ties with Denmark and evict its ambassador.

They then tore the embassy's flag down from outside the building and lit it on fire on the pavement.

The protesters dispersed after an hour. There were no arrests.

Newspapers in France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Hungary have reprinted the caricatures this week, saying press freedom was more important than the protests and boycotts they have provoked. Many Arab commentators said the European defence rings hollow because, they said, European media protected Judaism and Israel from criticism.
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Old 02-03-2006, 06:15 AM   #148
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This is getting ridiculous. A world without religeon would be a much better place.
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Old 02-03-2006, 06:20 AM   #149
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Update 2:

Germany, France, Denmark, and Norway are evacuating their nationals from all operations in Gaza and the West Bank after repeated threats and demonstrations from militants saying they had 48 hours to apologize or "be in danger." On Thursday, a German teacher was kidnapped from his hotel by masked gunmen, but was rescued by Palestinian police an hour later. On the bright(?) side, Hamas officials have formally appealed for refraining from attacks on foreigners, and dispatched some of their own "security" forces to protect Palestinian Christian churches in case they should suffer reprisals by association.

The purportedly influential International Association of Muslim Scholars (I wonder about the translation's accuracy on that last word) has called for an "international day of anger" today over the cartoons.

Protests were planned in London. Statement from the Muslim Council of Britain:
Quote:
Knowing full well the nature of these cartoons, that they were offensive, deeply offensive to millions of Muslims, these newspaper editors should have exercised better judgment.
Editors know that the Prophet is regarded with love and respect - to caricature him as a terrorist and describe him as daft and dumb, they know the deep sense of anger it will cause.

Instead, they have created a storm. This situation is ripe for exploitation by extremists. The extremists will say to vulnerable Muslims that Europe hates you, hates Islam and hates the Prophet.

There is already a lot of tension between the Muslim world and Europe due to the war in Iraq and the current threat against Iran. It all comes at a very difficult time.

We do not support violent protest nor flag burning. The best way to protest is by voicing your feelings to the embassies - the French and Danish - here.
On a similar note, Iraq's top Shiite cleric al-Sistani condemned the publication of the cartoons, but also condemned "misguided and oppressive" segments of the Muslim community and said their actions "projected a distorted and dark image of the faith of justice, love and brotherhood."

The Afghan and Pakistani governments are also now climbing onto the official condemnations bandwagon. Protests, most of them peaceful, continued outside various European embassies in several Middle Eastern, Central Asian, and Southeast Asian countries.

Various French, German, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, Italian, Swiss, Spanish, Bulgarian, and Hungarian papers have all now (re)printed the cartoons.

Quote:
Jyllands-Posten chief editor: "They have won"
By SA
Feb 3, 2006


COPENHAGEN - A storm of protests and consumer boycotts in the Middle East against Denmark suggest that opponents of freedom of expression "have won", said the editor of a newspaper that published controversial caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, in a report published on Wednesday.

Jyllands-Posten chief editor Carsten Juste said: "They have won. That is the sad fact. I guess that during the next generation no one in Denmark will draw the Prophet Mohammed."

Asked if he regretted last September's publication that had angered many Muslims, Juste said: "If we had known it would have led to boycotts and that Danish lives would be threatened, as we have seen, then the answer is no. That would not have been responsible. The costs were simply too high."
Quote:
Carrefour, the French retailer, said it had removed Danish products from shelves in its Middle East operations.
So much for fraternite.

And Rasmussen is going to meet today with the Muslim ambassadors he initially rebuffed back in October, after all (it's not clear yet which countries' ambassadors will attend, but it will be a long list). He should have done it the first time. He may not be accountable for what Danish newspapers print, but he is accountable for his people's standing and safety internationally.

I hope this doesn't come across as flip, but as an American who's traveled in Pakistan with my head down at times, it is the oddest feeling to watch footage of an angry Pakistani mob burning effigies and chanting Death to Denmark.
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Old 02-03-2006, 06:40 AM   #150
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Quote:
Originally posted by 1stepcloser
This is getting ridiculous. A world without religeon would be a much better place.
No. A world without history, identity, diversity, and culture would be a much better place.

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