Rodney (rcornelius) wrote,

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Flemming Rose, for the love of God, Allah, Jehovah, whatever, please SHUT THE FUCK UP!

This idiot, culture editor of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, doesn't know how to just keep quiet. Everytime he opens his mouth or makes a statement, he just keeps on adding fuel to the fire. He totally cannot that he bears some responsibility for the situation that the Danish government and businesses find themselves in. He can't see that his stubborness and reckless insenstivity to other cultures (and overt racism if you ask me) is a central theme to what is happening. And Danes reward his ignorance with not just asking him for all that s good in the world to shut his mouth. The freedom of speech also has a less-known counter-part, the freedom of self-restraint. That he now criticizes Syria and islamic religious figures only flames the situation.

And of course, some of the french newspapers and other european newspapers, standing by the concept of "press freedom", published the cartoons again and took a position that every newspaper has the right to publish whatever it wants.

Yet the Danes, French, Italians, Norwegian, and other newspapers that published this cartoon miss a fundamental point. Yes everyone has the right to caricature anything they want. But with freedom comes responsibility. For a continent that has been throw two world wars, and a continent where it's member countries have feuded for centruries, it should understand this concept better than everyone. Everyone recognises my right, my freedom, to yell "fire" in a crowded restaurant or on a plane. But we also have an expectation that I would not do so unless there was a real fire. It's the responsibility of the individual, the organisation, and corporation, to be sensitive and attuned to the environment around them and act accordingly.

The cartoon itself, which I have seen, I could only describe as racist and insensitive. If they had denegrated a christian or jewish major religious figure in that way, the force of the response could easily surprass what we see today (I doubt flag-burning would happen, but you would see economic and other kinds of protests). That secular Europe places relegates religion to holidays and times when they behave badly, doesn't mean we should act with insensitivity towards those faiths that make god a central tenet of their lives.

So yeah, before I step off my speaker's box, the Danish government should NOT apologise on behalf of the people of Denmark. After all, the newspaper is not an extended arm of the government. However, it should warmly and cordially invite Flemming Rose to just keep quiet for awhile. Let the politicians and diplomats work this out. Acknowledge the root cause of the anger and the sentiment, and work from a platform of being open to understanding instead of defensiveness. Getting every newspaper in the world to line up in solidarity with you doesn't change the fact that the people are on the streets of Syria, Indonesia, Iraq, the Palestinian territories, and other capitals are offened and upset. It doesn't take a editor to comprehend that.
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