Ilivetolearn's Blog

February 15, 2006

On the infamous cartoons

Filed under: Spain — ilivetolearn @ 10:17 pm

I learned the other day on Quien Quiere Ser Millonario that Denmark was the first country in the world to abolish slavery. And I have been reminded in recent news articles how many thousands of Jews were saved by Danes (from the King on down) during the Holocaust. So I am dismayed by the treatment of the country as a whole in the aftermath of the political cartoon/insult to the prophet/freedom of the press brouhaha.

Most of the papers here in Madrid erred on the side of discretion and did not reprint the cartoons, and the sizeable Muslim populations in various Spanish cities (especially Ceuta and Melilla, the two enclaves surrounded by Morocco) have only boycotted Danish goods and not resorted to violence. So here in Spain there is not the same feeling of vulnerability as in other parts of Europe. We in this household are buying as much Danish butter and cheese as we can lay our hands on in the markets.

Personally I find the news photo of a child carrying a placard reading “Whoever Insults a Prophet…Kill Him” more obscene and blasphemous than a drawing of Mohammed with a bomb-shaped turban. But of course as a first-amendment junkie I support the right of anyone to carry such a sign (and worse) in peaceful demonstrations to express political or religious views. Burning flags, okay. Shouting slogans, okay. But calling for murder as retribution for a transgression of someone else’s religious taboo? Not okay. Shades of Randall Terry and “Operation Rescue.”

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