Sometimes I get so riled...  

rm_deaminveni 51M
139 posts
2/4/2006 10:32 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Sometimes I get so riled...

OK, in a previous post I railed against some of the unbelievable legislation being put through in the UK on the back of recent world events. Specifically I mentioned the ludicrous “incitement to racial and religious hatred” legislation, a piece of legislation which appears to only apply under certain circumstances...

The news here (and I gather also in many other countries) is about some cartoon which shows the prophet Mohamed. Of course a certain minority of Muslims have got all steamed up about this. (I gather that the prophet forbade the making of his image because it would encourage his worship rather than Allah's and this is idolatry which is in many religions a big no-no ‒ personally it says more about Mohamed's ego than it does about idolatry).

The fact that some religious zealots got all steamed up is hardly surprising. Take any sufficiently diverse group of people, make any comment, and you're going to offend someone. Naturally there has been the usual hand wringing from those in authority ‒ terribly sorry (which is rich coming from our own government since they were in no way connected with the publication, a small Danish newspaper).

What is really steaming me up is the fact that the Muslims involved in the protest (citing that they were “offended” by the cartoon, and that it was a religiously motivated attack on them and their beliefs) promptly demonstrated outside various public building ‒ most notably the BBC broadcasting house. The BBC had flashed the cartoon briefly on screen to illustrate a piece about the Danish newspaper, this of course offended “Muslims everywhere” (according to the zealots' hyperbole), in fact it was probably a few more than actually turned up to demonstrate that were really offended.

Was this a quiet, dignified protest? No, of course not. After all their outdated, ignorant, self-interested view of the world had been challenged. No, these people waved banners with the altogether tolerant message “Death to Denmark” and such like blazoned across them.

Ah, I hear you cry! Surely you now have a law that forbids incitement to racial or religious hatred. You told us all about it only a couple of weeks ago.

Well, apparently this law does not apply to these people. They got on with their protest, waved their banners, cried out for death and destruction to rain down on the Danes and not a thing was done. Actually, not true, our Home Secretary (no less) apologized!

Now, be clear. I had no problem with them protesting. That's their right. I had no problem with them expressing their views (I don't agree with them, I think their stupid, narrow minded, self-serving bigots of the first order) but I do not believe that we should stop them saying these things ‒ just so long as they do not act on them (which I am certain few would, they will simply be misguided, weak minded fools going along with the crowd because they lack the cognitive capacity to think for themselves).

What I object to is the double standard being so blatantly applied. It's apparently OK for a group of individuals to appear on public streets waving banners inciting other to murder Danes, but publish a cartoon in an obscure newspaper showing an image of a man who lived 2000 years ago whose teachings have been repeatedly misinterpreted (generally for political aims) throughout those two thousand years and you become a legitimate target for racial hatred.

If I walked down the same streets on which these protests took place with a placard decrying “Death to Muslims”, or “Death to Arabs” I'd be locked up within minutes.

One might make the fatuous argument that the offense had been committed and the protesters had some sort of right-of-reply. This is of course an absurd argument because every dispute could lay claim to some previous offense and a defense against such blatantly racist behavior.

Naturally many true Muslims came out against these ludicrous demonstrations. Pointing out that being offended does not give you the right, even under Muslim law, to go around killing, or calling for the death of, anyone. Thankfully, anyone with an iota of intelligence seeks out the balancing views of the Muslim majority rather than the media friendly rantings of the crackpot zealots. Sadly I do not credit the “man in the street” with that much will to find a balanced viewpoint. “Nah mate, it said in the Sun....” WELL, that MUST make it true then! I mean if a tabloid newspaper says it who are you to question it!

Right, that's enough of that. I'm getting too riled, and too depressed at the lack of objective analysis in our media to carry on with this post.

I'm off now to have a couple of glasses of wine, read a bit on how to create mathemetical proofs, and a bit more about Poker Theory. Then I'll watch a film and go to bed - Alone.

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