Friday, February 03, 2006
Because we "Can"
Spain's leading newspaper became the latest European paper to publish a cartoon depicting the prophet Mohammad today, publishing a cartoon previously published in France on it's front page. The cartoon in question portrayed Mohammad's head made up of lines which say "I must not draw Mohammad" in French. Is it me, or is that taking the piss, just a little? Freedom of speech and expression are fundamental to our society, but human decency is vital too. Printing cartoons that will obviously cause massive offense, just to show we "can" print them, is not what freedom of speech is about. In fact if doing so is supposed to show how 'great' our free & democratic society is, then it is a shockingly poor advert for it. Both sides have taken an extreme stance on the issue, demanding the other to accept their values absolutely. No attempt has been made to see the others point of view. Are Western and Muslim cultures so different that dialogue cannot find a compromise? And should the more "culturally advanced" West continue to pour salt into the wounds by republishing the cartoons over and over, until Muslims get the point?