Inspiration: commentary on Dutch conservative MP Geert Wilders call for a “Draw Muhammad” event. Related:
Mr Wilders, the firebrand leader of the Party for Freedom, has lived under round the clock protection for years because of his anti-Islam rhetoric. A 26-year-old man, reportedly from Pakistan, was arrested this week in The Hague after making an alleged death threat against Mr Wilders.
“To avoid the risk of victims of Islamic violence, I have decided to not let the cartoon contest go ahead,” he said.
Should Wilders have pressed this old matter concerning civility, criticism, and freedom of speech?
Westerners don’t kill people over cartoons.
The “Draw Muhammad” fad goes back to the slaughtering of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh.
A civil, multicultural, and tolerant people have no need to bait those associated with any peaceful ideology, race, or religion; however, Islam has been saddled with some portion of extremists / hotheads / jihadists and the tolerant, generally speaking, chose to express that to the intolerant — and then the intolerant proved themselves exactly as depicted and expected.
There are powerful forces in the world rooted in criminality, power, and wealth that want to produce a feudal global society perpetually at war over small differences and one has most likely manipulated Islamic Terrorism to help install that “feudal mode”. The world would do well to see that clearly and follow up by continuing to diminish racial, religious, and other extremism, by embracing and promoting the benefits of liberal democracy, and by applying its better energies to other challenges and issues.
In the United States, the First Amendment / Freedom of Speech concept suggests the tolerating of hateful speech, and so we permit white supremacists and Black Panthers to _lawfully_ gather and express themselves in the public space without restraint.
That is freedom.
ose whose opinions are indeed hateful may suffer opprobrium for the same and social marginalization, and that is the way America has worked lo these many years since 1791.
“Political Correctness” may diminish that freedom if and when the state attempts to codify what is acceptable criticism and what is not.
We don’t like hate speech, but we think so much of “domestic tranquility” — a term also embedded in America’s foundations — that we tolerate the presence of it in the open, and we then address it with counter-arguments and social behavior, i.e., we walk away from it and shun those who beliefs and attitudes are not what we ourselves in our collective American majority would wish to embrace.
Perhaps Geert Wilders has recognized that we are 14 years along from the assassination of Theo Van Gogh, and he has chosen a socially responsible route, not necessarily the best political stance. On the other hand, since September 11, 2001 the world has engaged in a great conversation about Islamic extremism and perhaps as progress has been made in diminishing the appeal of it — and motivation for it — the urge to condemn Islam for it has perhaps been diminished as well.