Tuesday, February 07, 2006


"Islamist websites are already calling for revenge attacks. " BBC article.

I know peoples opinions on this matter vary greatly, many people believe free speech has no bounds and allows us to print whatever, whenever. In principle I agree, but what has been printed, and the way it has been reprinted, I find utterly insensitive and disturbing. Why did they have to print this now? I'm so scared of this situation, it is escalating by the day and I have no idea what I might be blogging about this time next week, or tomorrow for that matter.

The right to free speech comes with a responsibility to respect others and not senselessly insult them. The whole point of free speech is to allow constructive criticism, but to criticise you should also try to understand, not just wade in with something as offensive as that without any consideration. In Islam the prophet isn't visualised anywhere, nevermind with a bomb in the shape of a turban. I'm sure there were much more subtle ways to challenge the subject. If there was ever a time we didn't need the media flexing their egos it was now! Reprinting them again was just a middle finger to them effectively saying "screw you, swivel!".

Now the extremists have even more ammo to turn into anti-Western propaganda. I still get the impression the people who published these cartoons think it's funny and have adopted a "fuck you!" policy. People have been comparing it to Life of Brian and Brass Eye, which both caused outrage but were constructive in breaking barriers. However, they were self criticising, white Brits criticising our national religion and the media criticising the media.

The people rioting are just plain out of order, tarnishing the image of all Muslims. But they are the tip of the iceberg, I know a lot my uni' friends (foreign mature students from India and Pakistan) are deeply offended by it, and are not rioting. It shouldn't be illegal to print this, I just wish people had a bit more tact.


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