Those Muhammad Cartoons again
They were wrong, and here is why. There are two sets of cartoons. There are the ones that were published in the Danish press, and there are the ones added by those who wanted to promote the riots.
Without *seeing* the Danish published cartoons people have to take the radical's word for it that the cartoons were offensive. Have you seen the cartoons? Have you seen the added cartoons? (Here's a hint... I wouldn't let my kids see the added ones... they're *bad*.)
Instapundit has linked to a couple posts about a NYU event being held to discuss the cartoons. The cartoons *were* going to be displayed at the event. Or else the cartoons will be displayed and there won't be an event. Oh, who knows how it will end up but for now it's a mess.
NoodleFood talks about this at length. Scroll down and read the letter from Maheen Farooqi. Notice a couple of things. First, it's not just that the cartoons display Muhammad, it's that they display Muhammad and Islam "in a highly offensive manner." The letter goes on to say that the cartoons have lead to riots and deaths.
Both statements are wrong but without *seeing* the cartoons no one can know that. The *most* offensive cartoon shows a man (presumably Muhammad) with a bomb in his turban. Yes, this is rude, but it's as rude as it gets. And if Muslems rioted and *killed people* because of that it *matters* that people know what exactly they rioted and killed people over. It's important! It matters that people rioted and killed and the cartoons were *nothing*.
What will happen from displaying these cartoons is that Islam will have to face it's own shame, not for the cartoons, bur for it's behavior. What obligation do we have to protect them from that? People rioted and people died because of a picture of Muhammad with a bomb in his turban?
Well, no... not actually.
Pictures were added. "Muhammad" with a pig face is one that I've seen. Another is "Muhammad" being humped by a dog while praying. Were there others?
That makes more sense for the outrage, huh? But unless we *display* the cartoons no one can judge the meaning of the reactions to them. What's more, it keeps people from fully realizing the lies told by those who prepared for the riots, got the Danish flags distributed, and fanned the outrage that lead to embassy burnings and deaths. Imams lied, people died? (Pictures of the added "cartoons" at this link. More about Abu Laban at this one.)
We can't refuse to look at this and talk about this and it takes *pictures* to do that.
Atlas Shrugs has details.... and pictures.
Free speech matters. And bottom line is, that showing the cartoons isn't important *just* as a declaration of support for free speech but is vitally necessary to enable citizens to understand what is going on. In this case, words alone won't do it.