Monday, August 23, 2010

Rights vs Sensitivity

The commenters at JOM are discussing the mosque problem in context with the Mohammad cartoons and opening a very interesting line of thought..
Great comment by Cadell tonight on Geraldo (I'm too lazy to get up and change the channel), NO newspaper that refused to run the Muhammed cartoons has any moral authority to lecture anyone on first amendment rights re Islam...
Looking back, here's what the NY Times reported:
Major American newspapers, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune, did not publish the caricatures. Representatives said the story could be told effectively without publishing images that many would find offensive.

"Readers were well served by a short story without publishing the cartoon," said Robert Christie, a spokesman for Dow Jones & Company, which owns The Wall Street Journal. "We didn't want to publish anything that can be perceived as inflammatory to our readers' culture when it didn't add anything to the story."

In a midafternoon meeting on Friday, editors at The Chicago Tribune discussed the issue but decided against publishing the cartoons. "We can communicate to our readers what this is about without running it," said James O'Shea, the paper's managing editor.
In other words, all these major papers shunned their freedom of the press/speech rights in order to show sensitivity to a major religion. At the time, I agreed, because slamming a deity figure seems rather pointless and needlessly provocative, even if it's just to show you can or make a point about intolerance.

Therefore, what would be wrong with the mosque proponents, who've now dug in their heels to any suggestion of standing down (which will cause undue controversy), learning a lesson from the Mohammad cartoons and relocating their center uptown? And what would be wrong with all those major papers, who took a stand for religious sensitivities a few years ago, to do so again?

Or does all of this really boil down to the same old fear of repercussions from the violent Islamists (who aren't really Muslims, we are told) who express outrage and threats over anything remotely denigrating to their beliefs? If so, how can America expect to fight and win a war against that very enemy?

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