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The Forum > Article Comments > Why 'On Line Opinion' hasnít published those cartoons > Comments

Why 'On Line Opinion' hasnít published those cartoons : Comments

By Graham Young, published 9/2/2006

Can the West have a meaningful conversation with Islam while down-playing its commitment to free speech?

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Nice article, Graham. My only objection is that linking to the pictures is not the same as displaying them on your site. Displaying the pictures is an act of solidarity with other news organisations that have printed or displayed them. Linking is merely the online equivalent of reporting that a different publication has printed them.

Also, displaying the images helps to diffuse the retributions. If every newspaper in the (non-muslim) world displayed the cartoons, and every government supported their right to do so, to which embassy would those who oppose the images direct their protests?

Dave.
Posted by borofkin, Thursday, 9 February 2006 11:58:29 AM
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Good one GY,

I guess it comes down deciding when fee speech (via media the big media portals) are a carriage for meaningful dialogue and when it is not. Notions of free speech are intimately connected to access to matrix of world media. The meteorite rise of Aljarzera (sp?) media over the last decade and the symbiotic relationship it now has with 'western media' is a case in point.

There are clearly tensions between a world media and notions of democracratic access to this same media. The questioning by the west of the election of Islamic govenments across the East is a poignant reminder of how undemocratic world media (I speak of CNN, Murdoch empires etcetera) has become.

I agree OLO has provided access to debate for those who may have very closed minds but I sometimes wonder if this has only further entrenched this closemindedness. I hope I'm wrong
Posted by Rainier, Thursday, 9 February 2006 12:21:14 PM
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Ironically, free speech also includes the right "not to speak". So a publication that decides not to display the cartoons is actually also exercising their right to freedom of expression.
Posted by Donnie, Thursday, 9 February 2006 12:23:56 PM
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If a publication is free to print something. It is free not to print something.

Of course publications do not have an absolute right to print what they like. On-line opinion cannot damage someone's reputation without being risking legal action. It cannot print militarily sensitive information. I am sure other execeptions exist.

Furthermore there is a right to protest. Does that right extend to burning a flag? Throwing eggs? Serious damage was caused to embassy buildings -- that is NOT freedom of expression. But far worse, by western standards, would be deaths resulting in police restricting the right to peaceful protest. (Note: I am not saying any particular protest was peaceful or not)

Then there is the question of racial vilification law. This is law in some parts of the western world and thus has some legitimacy, even if you (like me) disagree with it on principle.

Freedom of expression is ultimately a value, and if anything these newspapers are assuming a perfect world. It's just like that Darwin award winner, testing the strength of skyscraper windows by running into them and falling through. But instead of spreading the values of freedom, which is not a childish thing, these newspapers have taken it to breaking point where it's needed (and where we need it) the most.
Posted by David Latimer, Thursday, 9 February 2006 12:31:43 PM
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Graham said:

"The Islamic reaction to the cartoons demonstrates that Jihadist violence is not directed solely, or even primarily, at US Middle-Eastern policy. It is directed at modernity"

There are other important aspects of this, which need to be brought out.

1/ The apparent deliberate use of falsehood by Danish Muslim Clerics who went to the middle east on a 'delegation' to stir trouble, and the apparent ADDING to the cartoons, 2 more which are more likely the source of the outrage.(if the story is confirmed)

http://www.michellemalkin.com/ (scroll down)

the added cartoons include a portrayal of Mohammed in prayer, prostrate with a dog 'mounting' him from behind. The other, making him appear like a pig.

2/ The willingness of Muslims on the radical end of the spectrum to use all means, fair or foul, to achieve their desired ends. (as I have been claiming repeatedly as nauseum)

3/ The action of the Islamic Council of Victoria in using any 'tool' available to it, to achieve similar goals against criticism of Islam in the Catch the Fire case. (RRT2001)

4/ In the absense of a 'legal' tool, the present violence clearly demonstrates the possibility of 'other' more vocal/violent means being used in Australia by radical clerics.

5/ 2Danny's correct ?

Some other anecdotal incidents of note:

a) Sign in crowd in UK "You will come crawling when the Mujahadin come roaring"
b) Death to those who insult Islam.
c) Muslim Protestor at GROUND ZERO in USA with provocative sign.
d) Muslimwoman's placard "Be prepared for the REAL holocaust"
e) Freedom goto HELL !

OBSERVATION.

1/ In areas where Muslims are a vast majority, they are characterized by VIOLENCE,

2/ in areas such as New York where they are a small minority, they are characterized by 'critical speech'.... anyone tweaking here ?

RECOMMENDATION/EXHORTATION.
"Know"...what you believe. 'Stand' by that, make SURE it is a firm foundation. If not, the Tsunami will overtake you.

"If any man hears my words and does them... he is like a man who built his house on a rock" (Jesus)
Posted by BOAZ_David, Thursday, 9 February 2006 12:44:20 PM
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The Islamic reaction is not directed at "modernity." It is directed at 1. non-Muslims because they are not Muslims and 2. Non-muslims lives and societies are better than Islamic ones.

An important thing is that Muslims have learned that hate and anger is the one thing that gets them respect. It is their only weapon.

It is therefore necessary to tell them the things they do not want to hear. I have watched newspapers and online media now for weeks, just waiting for someone to say "Whoa. Hold on a minute, let's examine the life of this man Mohammad. Lets see that the history books say".

If that is done on a major media enterprise, it is all over. Yes there will be riots and hate mail and death threats against the person doing this, but it will save lives. The Imams know this. Why do you think they are not using the courts to charge deflamation or slander? Any 2 bit lawyer could show a jury that you cannot insult a man with a rap sheet like Mohammads. The guy was a murderer, a torturer, a slaver and a wife beater. He promoted rape, oppression and abuse. And these are the nice things written by his friends in Islam's accounts.

When is somebody - an international figure on international media - going to do us this favor? Is there anybody brave enough? Somebody who cares about freedom and truth?

John Kactuz

PS: When the cartoon things dies down, it will be something else, and then something else again. It will go on and on until we are dead or until they figure out we know about them, their faith and their vile prophet.

(Note to DB -- I was banned from the 'forums.newspaperindex.' Did they delete my posts?)
Posted by kactuz, Thursday, 9 February 2006 1:32:38 PM
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