Friday, February 03, 2006

Cartoon Terror

"The pen is mightier than the sword". But don’t try telling that to an angry man who’s armed with a blade.

No cartoon could create as offensive a stereotypical caricature of Islam as the press images of angry true believers carrying placards calling for "Death to those who insult Islam" and shouting
their pro-9/11 & 7/7 slogans.

The call for a “day of anger”, rather than a "day of protest", by Islamic religious leaders, coupled with widespread death threats by fundamentalist Muslims, has to be quite unacceptable in the modern world.

Expressions of outrage, condemnations of blasphemy, calls for economic boycotts etc would all be acceptable forms of protest.

What’s most worrying is the almost complete absence of religious or political leadership of Muslims calling for a more temperate response. Instead we get so-called moderates explaining away the anger and the response, rather than condemning it or calling on their followers to desist from acts of violence.

We need to consider whether tolerance of these intolerant protests in the West is the appropriate response. Perhaps we need to modify the old adage to "The pen is mightier with a sword".

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