Saturday, November 05, 2011
Can we torch the offices of Time magazine now...?
In the wake of the fire-bombing of the offices of the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo which had published Mohammed cartoons which Mohammedans -- in their pathological obsession with religious "blasphemy", of course -- found "offensive", a pundit for Time magazine (one Bruce Crumley) essentially blamed the French newspaper (while implicitly letting Muslims off the hook) for being too provocative and therefore guilty of goading and inviting Muslims to attack them.
Meanwhile, the editors of Charlie Hebdo announced that not only will they go ahead with publishing Mohammed cartoons, they will publish more of the same.
An excellent commentary on this incident has come to my attention.
It is from UK journalist Nick Cohen, from whose recent essay on the matter I derived my blog title today. I've not made a study of Nick Cohen's writings over the years on Islam. Apparently, he is deemed to be a Leftist (though that label should always be taken with a grain of salt, concerning the issue of Islam); and he may well be an asymptotic analyst about the problem of Islam. In this case, however, he's spot on the money. (Note: in the following quote, I found it necessary to add a phrase, which I put in bold, to make his point clearer):
If believers in freedom of speech and of the press were to find Time's arguments in favour of censorship "stupid and unnecessary", and in response they decided to torch the offices of Time, they would on this reasoning be no more responsible for their actions than the Parisian fire bomber. Time would have been "begging" for it. It would have deserved everything it got.
On a similar note, one could propose another hypothetical (I thought of this after reading a comment from a normal civilian, one "Kepha", a commenter at the Jihad Watch article on this incident):
Suppose -- a hypothetical case -- that after one of the innumerable displays of snide mockery of Christian values one has seen for years, even decades, throughout the West (think the "Piss Christ" exhibit, the statue of Mary in elephant dung by another "artist", the constant barrage over the years of relentless and brazen ridicule of Christianity by the extremely popular TV shows South Park, The Simpsons, the Conan O'Brien show, Saturday Nite Live, as well as live stage shows of the magician/comedians Penn & Teller, or movies like "Life of Brian" or "Dogma" etc. -- just to name a few -- some Christians decide to firebomb the offices of any one of them.
We know what would happen. The very opposite response from Western journalists and pundits would happen.
Time or Newsweek or any other of the mainstream news media outlets would defend the artists or journalists who were attacked -- while they would roundly condemn the Christian attackers, without a shred of the sophistical equivocation they use routinely to subtly defend the precious sensibilities of perennially "offended" Muslims.