Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Annie, Feb 17, 2006.
Seems the problem may well be the 'schools' and the mosques:
would be terrific if more moderate Muslims in western countries joined such organizations, as a counterbalance to the Islamists'.
I had been searching around for a way of thinking about the cartoon controversy. The following piece is the sanest and most sensible thing I've seen so far: [these are excerpts; full link below]
The New York Times
February 17, 2006
The Silent Treatment
By ROBERT WRIGHT
* * *
Even many Americans who condemn the cartoon's publication accept the premise that the now-famous Danish newspaper editor set out to demonstrate: in the West we don't generally let interest groups intimidate us into what he called "self-censorship."
What nonsense. Editors at mainstream American media outlets delete lots of words, sentences and images to avoid offending interest groups, especially ethnic and religious ones. It's hard to cite examples since, by definition, they don't appear. But use your imagination.
Hugh Hewitt, a conservative blogger and evangelical Christian, came up with an apt comparison to the Muhammad cartoon: "a cartoon of Christ's crown of thorns transformed into sticks of TNT after an abortion clinic bombing." As Mr. Hewitt noted, that cartoon would offend many American Christians. That's one reason you haven't seen its like in a mainstream American newspaper.
Or, apparently, in many mainstream Danish newspapers. The paper that published the Muhammad cartoon, it turns out, had earlier rejected cartoons of Christ because, as the Sunday editor explained in an e-mail to the cartoonist who submitted them, they would provoke an outcry.
Defenders of the "chasm" thesis might reply that Western editors practice self-censorship to avoid cancelled subscriptions, picket lines or advertising boycotts, not death. Indeed, what forged the chasm consensus, convincing many Americans that the "Muslim world" might as well be another planet, is the image of hair-trigger violence: a few irreverent drawings appear and embassies go up in flames.
But the more we learn about this episode, the less it looks like spontaneous combustion. The initial Muslim response to the cartoons was not violence, but small demonstrations in Denmark along with a lobbying campaign by Danish Muslims that cranked on for months without making it onto the world's radar screen.
Only after these activists were snubbed by Danish politicians and found synergy with powerful politicians in Muslim states did big demonstrations ensue. Some of the demonstrations turned violent, but much of the violence seems to have been orchestrated by state governments, terrorist groups and other cynical political actors.
Besides, who said there's no American tradition of using violence to make a point? Remember the urban riots of the 1960's, starting with the Watts riot of 1965, in which 34 people were killed? The St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Bob Gibson, in his 1968 book "From Ghetto to Glory," compared the riots to a "brushback pitch" a pitch thrown near a batter's head to keep him from crowding the plate, a way of conveying that the pitcher needs more space.
In the wake of the rioting, blacks got more space. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People had been protesting broadcast of the "Amos 'n' Andy" show, with its cast of shiftless and conniving blacks, since the 1950's, but only in 1966 did CBS withdraw reruns from distribution. There's no way to establish a causal link, but there's little doubt that the riots of the 1960's heightened sensitivity to grievances about the portrayal of blacks in the media. (Translation: heightened self-censorship.)
* * *
BUT one key to the American formula for peaceful coexistence is to avoid such arguments to let each group decide what it finds most offensive, so long as the implied taboo isn't too onerous. We ask only that the offended group in turn respect the verdicts of other groups about what they find most offensive. Obviously, anti-Semitic and other hateful cartoons won't be eliminated overnight. (In the age of the Internet, no form of hate speech will be eliminated, period; the argument is about what appears in mainstream outlets that are granted legitimacy by nations and peoples.)
But the American experience suggests that steadfast self-restraint can bring progress. In the 1960's, the Nation of Islam was gaining momentum as its leader, Elijah Muhammad, called whites "blue-eyed devils" who were about to be exterminated in keeping with Allah's will. The Nation of Islam has since dropped in prominence and, anyway, has dropped that doctrine from its talking points. Peace prevails in America, and one thing that keeps it is strict self-censorship.
And not just by media outlets. Most Americans tread lightly in discussing ethnicity and religion, and we do it so habitually that it's nearly unconscious. Some might call this dishonest, and maybe it is, but it also holds moral truth: until you've walked in the shoes of other people, you can't really grasp their frustrations and resentments, and you can't really know what would and wouldn't offend you if you were part of their crowd.
The Danish editor's confusion was to conflate censorship and self-censorship. Not only are they not the same thing the latter is what allows us to live in a spectacularly diverse society without the former; to keep censorship out of the legal realm, we practice it in the moral realm. Sometimes it feels uncomfortable, but worse things are imaginable.
Robert Wright, the author of "The Moral Animal," is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation.
If the NYTimes and other MSM hadn't published those types of cartoons out of 'taste' regarding Christ, Christians, Jews, and others. But they have and continue to do so. Actually I imagine they will continue to do so until forced to submit...
Another reason might be that this is not SOP for Christians. It enjoys neither the tacit approval nor the overt encouragement of the Christian heirarchy - if any such thing can be said to exist. Can Islam make the same claim? In a word, no.
Just once, I'd like to see the NYT publish the WHOLE TRUTH of matters like these. Cherry-picking the parts of a story that support your agenda, and leaving out the parts that don't, is as bad as lying.
The Danish editor's principal reason for not publishing the cartoons was that they were - in his opinion - NOT FUNNY. That's part of his job.
NYT motto: Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.
THis is all crap.l
at least interesting crap : )
I was reading a about privacy book this weekend by a colleague ("Private Matters," Janna Malamud Smith), where she notes that terrorism is in fact well known in America: the KKK's terrorist intimidation of black people, which served the interests of many whites who preferred black people "stay in their place." So, that's another counterexample to the "Christians never do that kind of thing" argument. Have you seen the pictures of people partying at lynch scenes?
I work with a black man whose uncle was hunted down by the KKK for allegedly disrespecting a white person. They pinned him down in his bedroom and drove a stake through his eye socket.
EXCUSE ME? " 'Christians never do that kind of thing' argument"? I hope you're not talking about me, Mariner. I'd hate to think that all that NYT horseshit you've been reading and posting has led you to adopt their craven, word-twisting, double-tongued tactics. Just so we can be VERY CLEAR on this, here - again - is what I posted:
"Another reason might be that this is not SOP for Christians. It enjoys neither the tacit approval nor the overt encouragement of the Christian heirarchy - if any such thing can be said to exist. Can Islam make the same claim? In a word, no."
You're comparing the long-ago actions of people who may have professed Christianity - but behaved barbarically - to Islamic fanatics. It won't work. I can assure you that Robert Byrd found no promise in the Christian Bible of 72 virgins in the hereafter, if he were martyred in the segregationist cause. U.S. foreign policy has never been, "bow before Jesus or I'll kill you". Can Islam make the same claim? Again, I say - no.
Your co-worker's ancestors were sold into slavery by members of their own race. A favorite sport of Native Americans was to cut open a white man's stomach, nail his large intestine to a tree, and force him to walk around and around the tree until he collapsed, dead. Each of us here could tell his own tale of ancestral woe. Man is a barbaric, tyrannical monster by his nature. Jesus teaches us to try to rise above our essential, animalistic selves. I don't know who's teaching what to Muslims, but the Bible says, "By their deeds shall you know them". I've got to tell you - I'm not impressed.
you, Musicman. I was referring to all the posts and threads here with the theme, "Look, they (Muslims) are so barbaric and we (Americans) are so above that."
As for your argument about slavery, you seriously want to blame all slavery on the fact that some African tribes played into the market for slaves? And you want to equate the small number of atrocities committed by American Indians as they were overrun with the large number committed by the Europeans doing the overrunning? And the KKK's killing of my co-worker's uncle was his ancestors' fault, not the KKK's fault?
You must admit, Mariner, that right now the Muslim world is in a relatively barbaric phase, relative to the rest of the world. To equate us you must go back several hundred years to the crusade and start finger pointing. They're stuck. The world has progressed. They're barbaric; the rest of the world is more advanced.
Wouldn't have been much of a market with no supply, would it?
Mariner - for your own good, you're going to have to step away from the NYT for a few days. You've lost the ability to read, comprehend, and discuss a simple statement without reflexively twisting it to mean something else. AGAIN, here is what I actually said:
"Each of us here could tell his own tale of ancestral woe. Man is a barbaric, tyrannical monster by his nature. Jesus teaches us to try to rise above our essential, animalistic selves. I don't know who's teaching what to the Muslims, but I've got to tell you - I'm not impressed".
I honestly don't know how you get, "Caucasians are the scourge of the universe" out of that. As I said - it must be an NYT thing.
Separate names with a comma.