Saturday, February 04, 2006

Danish cartooning

The Danish cartoon conundrum is pretty easy, isn't it? Publishing and republishing the cartoons has nothing to do with free speech. I have the right, the legal right, the free speech right, to go up to the next developmentally-challenged person I see and call him a retard. But I don't. Why not? Because I'm not six years old! I may consider all religious beliefs to be silly superstitions (and I do!). However, I know that people take their religious beliefs very seriously, and would be genuinely hurt if I were to make fun of them. So I don't. It's just a question of common courtesy. Freedom of the press has absolutely nothing to do with it. The Danes showed how far their principles went when they started to apologize only when it appeared Danish corporations would lose money from a Muslim boycott. Some principles!

The conspiracy angle of this unnecessary crisis is that the Danes knew exactly what they were doing, and intended to provoke the violent Muslim reaction that they got. Those involved are anti-immigration racists who wanted to make the point that Muslims are inherently violent and shouldn't be allowed into Denmark. This was no accident.

What the hell happened to Denmark anyway? It used to be one of the most reliably progressive places in the world. Now we see a right-wing government backed by anti-immigration racists that sent troops to Iraq, troops that even had their own little torture scandal. Denmark is actually an excellent example of the future joys of vote reform, since the far right, anti-immigration Danish Peoples Party provides the seats which allows the government to control power.