Let us also dismiss the silly notion that this conflict is about “free speech” or “freedom of the press.” From reading the op-eds and blog posts one could get the impression that the media is willing to gore all sacred cows and that Muslims are resorting to special pleading by expecting an exemption for their beliefs. This is, of course, utter nonsense. While it may be de rigueur to insult religious sensibilities, the press has built an invisible barrier of offense which they will not cross.
Few newspapers, for instance, are willing to show images, whether photographic or in drawing, of child pornography, dead soldiers, or unborn babies. The issue isn’t whether there is a line of offense which should not be crossed, but rather a question of what lies on each side of the Maginot Line. The Muslim protestors and the European journalists disagree about where that line should be drawn. But no one seriously argues that such a line doesn’t exist.
This is breathtaking in its - I can only come up with "phoniness" as a synonym for disingenuousness.
Follow the links; you'll click through to some pro-women's death group that couldn't get an ad run in an American paper.
And you know that all "media" is alike; Danish, Zimbabwean, Chinese, CBC, Pravda, etc...
We also know that depictions of kiddie porn is illegal. In Denmark too.
So what's Carter's point?
We not only treasure the “right to blaspheme” but mock and deride the very idea that anything can be considered sacred. Anything, that is, except the sacred right to say whatever we want, whenever we want, wherever we want in the hopes of offending as many people as possible. While this freedom must be guarded, it should be carried out with a deep reluctance and the odium of “good men.”
But while the Danish newspaper, their supporters in the European press, and their apologists in the American media and blogosphere, have aligned with the baser elements of our culture, the reaction in much of the Muslim world has been abhorrent....
But just once I’d like to be called upon to champion speech that is true, honorable, just, and pure. Just once I’d like to defend a freedom that wasn’t vulgar, degraded, and profane. Just once I’d like to defend freedom that aspired to the ideals of Thomas Jefferson rather than to the inclinations of Larry Flynt.
Sorry, Joe, the right to blaspheme is probably among the most important expression that really needs defending; the right to blaspheme Dear Leaders Kim Il Sung or George W. Bush; the right to blaspheme Jesus, Mohammed, the Buddha, John Kerry, Sean Hannity, John Lennon, the Holy Spirit, the Pope, Billy Graham, Larry Flynt, Jerry Falwell, the US Dollar, and so on.
Because it is attempt to quash those rights that yield attempts to squash the rights of people to publicize government wrongdoing, brutal, unjust wars, exploitation of people, hunger and so forth.
Moreover, whether it’s Islamic, Christian, Buddhist atheist, Taoist, or whatever sympathies, the ability to speak freely, without fear of physical coercion, is a higher priority than one’s feelings (yeah, go ahead and call gays immoral if you want- it’s your right). Why? Because to do otherwise we would not be faithful to the duty of all people to live their lives authentically. And when we start to coerce people into being inauthentic, all kinds of harmful things result.
Not that I'd expect Carter to actually care about that...
For something more informative, Darksyde gets the background poop from Juan Cole, about how this thing arose in the first place.