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Posted this in teh Salon

A swedish kind of death:

I have no problem supporting muslems who wants to exercise their right to portray their profet. But that is not generally what happens, what generally happens is that westerners brought up in Christianity finds easy targets in another culture and thereby feeds the fundamentalists sense of a culture war against another culture.

Lets also remember that pictures of Muhammed - and republishing those pictures - became a big deal in February 2006 when non-violent protests, boycotts and symbolic destruction (flags, an empty embassy in Syria) in the Muslem world had got Aftenposten to apologise for offense they caused (30th of January 2005). Yes, it is a pitty for comic writers that gets caught up in a culture war they did not ask for, but it is not like this is the only taboo out there. Just by following the news, I have after January 2006 noticed that comics of the royalty in the nude is forbidden in Spain, as well as depicting cops as pigs is forbidden in France.

I can add that the right to depict other cultures prophets are not a very important right. In my book it is about as important as using particular garments in other religions holy buildings.

Secularism in traditionally Christain countries is not under assault from Islam. If it is under assault from Christianity, then fundie Cristians uses Islam to conjure up an enemy that demands supporting our own fundies lest the other fundies get us.

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by A swedish kind of death on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 08:00:02 AM EST
what generally happens is that westerners brought up in Christianity finds easy targets in another culture and thereby feeds the fundamentalists sense of a culture war against another culture.

Doesn't bear much resemblance to the case in discussion (Charlie Hebdo's special "life of the prophet" issue). It's an anti-clerical paper, always has been. The issue is whether the fundamentalists get to censor them or not. I say not. The jurisprudence (i.e. numerous attempts by the Catholic church to censor them) is in Charlie's favour.

depicting cops as pigs is forbidden in France.

News to me. Do you have a reference?

I can add that the right to depict other cultures prophets are not a very important right. In my book it is about as important as using particular garments in other religions holy buildings.

That's not it (the implication in your analogy is that all of France is a holy place for Islam). The right to depict anyone or anything is the issue. Granting special exceptions demanded by particular groups for arbitrary reasons is a slippery slope. Obviously, there are exceptions to free expression; if you are inciting violence, or racial or religious hatred, then you may well be banned after the event, and condemned by courts. That's what happens in France. I find it likely that complaints will be laid, and will be thrown out by the courts. This may raise the question : are the courts biased against Islam? On balance, whatever the personal opinions or prejudices of individual judges, they judge these matters carefully according to the law. In the past, judgements which were biased by religious opinions (in particular, in favour of the Catholic church) have been challenged and overturned.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 09:46:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is a pitty that Charlie Hebdo's actions are interpreted in the light of an ongoing cultural war with regards to cartoons featuring Muhammed. But it is not strange or surprising, indeed it is expected.

I can't find the article about the french cops cartoon. I remember reading about it here on ET and might have written a snarkish comment, but my Google-fu is to weak to find it. France, police and cartoons feature commonly in the news threads. Maybe someone else remembers it. Probably in 2006 or 2007.

I had better luck with the Spanish royals.

ceebs:

BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Spain royal sex cartoonists fined
Two Spanish cartoonists have been found guilty of offending the royal family and fined 3,000 euros (£2,100) each.

Their cartoon, on the front page of the weekly satirical magazine El Jueves in July, depicted Crown Prince Felipe and his wife Letizia having sex.

The edition was pulled from newsstands across the country by police.



eurogreen:

Granting special exceptions demanded by particular groups for arbitrary reasons is a slippery slope.

Oh, are you arguing law? I have no issue with French law allowing for depictions of the prophet. Is there any serious reason to expect drawing such cartoons to be outlawed in France?

I am arguing morals, I see not the pressing need for drawing pictures of a prophet in a religion that does not like it, hence I think it is wrong to do what is sure to be interpreted in the light of the danish cartoon controversy and its aftermath.

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by A swedish kind of death on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:24:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps you might widen the discussion, as I hoped would happen, to the rights of the polity to dampen the enthusiasm of the religious nut.

 Isn't figuring out governance hard enough without having to joust with every fevered imagination? It might even be impossible, which is my contention, based on historical data.

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!

by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 10:16:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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