Saturday, February 04, 2006

On offensive cartoons of Muhammad

From the New York Times.
In response to criticism of offensive cartoons of Muhammad, State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack, reading the government's statement on the controversy, said, 'Anti-Muslim images are as unacceptable as anti-Semitic images,' which are routinely published in the Arab press, 'as anti-Christian images, or any other religious belief.'

Still, the United States defended the right of the Danish and French newspapers to publish the cartoons. 'We vigorously defend the right of individuals to express points of view,' Mr. McCormack added."
I agree on all counts.

I also agree that it would be better for everyone if we lowered our voices a bit.

I also think the Bush administration should do more to support free speech at home. For example Cindy Sheehan and Beverly Young were both removed from the capital visitors gallery where they had come to listen to Bush's speech. Their offense? They wore anti- and pro- Bush T-shirts. (The Capital Police chief has since taken responsibility. I suspect it goes higher than that. See also the recent uproar about the Bush administration's effort to silence NASA scientists about global warming.)

I also wish the Muslim world would refrain from its practice of anti-Jewish name-calling. Perhaps this experience will help them understand how it feels to be on the receiving end of that sort of thing.

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