Duncan Riley> A little earlier today (my time) I posted a poll question about the decision by Australian blogger Tim Blair to post the jyllands posten mohammed cartoons. Honestly, my first thought, after first reading about it as the then lead story at the Sydney Morning Herald online was that he was mad, that he’s likely to make himself a target. I agreed with what he was doing, but was worried about the risk.
Two things have changed my mind. First, Blair’s blog is back up, and he points to Michelle Makin who is keeping tally of all the brave bloggers who are posting, or linking to the cartoons, in the name of free speech. Secondly, I discussed it with she who must be obeyed, who reminded me why I love her so much by telling me that I should post them, because we both passionately believe in free speech, and secondly because she would expect nothing less from me.
But before I post them, I want to reprint some of the words from Boston.com, who sums it up so well:
HINDUS CONSIDER it sacrilegious to eat meat from cows, so when a Danish supermarket ran a sale on beef and veal last fall, Hindus everywhere reacted with outrage. India recalled its ambassador to Copenhagen, and Danish flags were burned in Calcutta, Bombay, and Delhi. A Hindu mob in Sri Lanka severely beat two employees of a Danish-owned firm, and demonstrators in Nepal chanted: ”War on Denmark! Death to Denmark!”In many places, shops selling Dansk china or Lego toys were attacked by rioters, and two Danish embassies were firebombed.
It didn’t happen, of course. Hindus may consider it odious to use cows as food, but they do not resort to boycotts, threats, and violence when non-Hindus eat hamburger or steak. They do not demand that everyone abide by the strictures of Hinduism and avoid words and deeds that Hindus might find upsetting. The same is true of Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Mormons: They don’t lash out in violence when their religious sensibilities are offended. They certainly don’t expect their beliefs to be immune from criticism, mockery, or dissent.
But radical Muslims do.
The current uproar over cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed published in a Danish newspaper illustrates yet again the fascist intolerance that is at the heart of radical Islam. Jyllands-Posten, Denmark’s largest daily, commissioned the cartoons to make a point about freedom of speech. It was protesting the climate of intimidation that had made it impossible for a Danish author to find an illustrator for his children’s book about Mohammed. No artist would agree to illustrate the book for fear of being harmed by Muslim extremists. Appalled by this self-censorship, Jyllands-Posten invited Danish artists to submit drawings of Mohammed, and published the 12 it received.
This says it all for me, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide. In a free society we have the right of free speech, and although we may not always agree with it, the exercise therein is what makes us better than those nations that don’t practice it, no matter what the gutless Australian press…and Crikey may think. So you be the judge. What follows are the cartoons in question. I make no statement to agree or disagree with them, but publish them to support free speech, but I will leave the last word to Fark, who wrote:
Ironic: Muslims offended by caricatures proceed to act them out