Thursday, February 09, 2006

Freedom of the press, or Freedom Period?

Here is a great new article from The Stranger:

All the Rage

Islamic Fundamentalists Don't Just Have a Problem with Cartoons, They Have a Problem with Freedom

It began last September.

Danish author Kaare Bluitgen couldn’t find an illustrator for his biography of Muhammad. Fundamentalist Muslims frown on depictions of the prophet and—in one of many European cases of self-censorship since the November 2004 murder of Dutch filmmaker and Islam critic Theo van Gogh—artists feared a reaction.

And there was a counterpoint:

If I, a well-dressed white guy, were to walk into certain black neighborhoods carrying offensive depictions of blacks and jokingly calling people niggers, I would almost certainly be hit, or worse. And the feeling of most Americans (and myself), would probably be that I deserved what I got for being so insensitive. It would not matter if I had only been joking, or if I had been trying to make some high-minded point about race being a social construct. The fact that I had trampled on the understandable sensitivities of black Americans in order to make a provocative statement would be seen as poor judgment, at best.

Is this person serious? apparently, those who criticize wacko violent fundamentalism, even in extremely mild ways, "deserve what they get!"

From what I understand here, fundie Muslims cannot oppress us (especially people like me, people who have vaginas, who might want to,wear shorts, or show their faces in public), so therefore they are oppressed. We should understand their rage at their inability to insinuate their immoral and false religion/theocrasy on us, as an oppressed minority, so we should be sensitive and not criticize them. At least, in their neighborhood.

This is no longer about a couple of bad cartoons. This started well before the murder of Theo Van Gogh. Feel compassion all you want for young men who are not allowed to stone me to death, but don't feel sorry for them. Otherwise, why aren't we feeling the same compassion for the racists who cannot yell Nigger in a black neighborhood? This, the internet, my blog, is not a fundamentalist theocratic neighborhood, and I will freely criticize religion. This is also not a moral relativist neighborhood, and I'm not going to pretend that it's moral to be a racist, or a fundy, or a violent protector of an evil system.

And the neighborhood that stops allowing free criticism of oppressive systems has fallen. And thery sure as hell won't be allowing point-counterpoint, or free weekly alternative newspapers.


Anonymous said...

Actually, I think there is a more subtle evil afoot here, what the person writing about the hypothetical slogan carrier is actually saying is this:

Black people and arabs are subhuman. You can't expect them to act like rational, thinking beings.

Now, the reason I think he is saying this is because he used the example of black on white violence, instead of white on black, or straight on gay, both of which are much more common in the news.

Hellbound Alleee said...

I agree completely, that`s a great point.

Not only that, but he doesn`t seem to think that blacks are very well-dressed. You blink and you don`t notice these things. LOL.

breakerslion said...

If I went to Harlem, and started chanting "Niiiiger", or even addressed passers-by with that epithet, I would expect to be pummeled or worse at some point. Most of the people walking by would give me a dirty look, or express their displeasure in some fashion (retort, spitting on sidewalk, etc.) and move on. Some might get in my face and call me a Honky piece of shit. In other words, most folk would give me what I deserve, but the one who feels the need to top my asshole-ness and make me a statistic gets all the attention.

Aaron Kinney said...

Noam Chomsky once wrote:

If you dont believe in free speech for people you despise, then you dont believe in free speech at all.