--> Getting It Right: To 'toon or not to 'toon?

Monday, February 13, 2006

To 'toon or not to 'toon?

The Western Standard is publishing THE cartoons this week. My thoughts are below. What are yours? Why?

As a Canadian when I see something that offends my views, I am perfectly within my rights to protest, wave placards, blog madly, boycott cheese, write letters, organize politically, creatively counter the arguments, launch my own newspaper, etc. There are thousands of peaceful outlets for my outrage.

I am not, however, permitted to firebomb property, murder, loot, and generally rampage around.

People haven't died because of some stick figures. They've died because fundamentalists in the Middle East haven't figured out how to peacefully get their point across.

For all our sakes, I hope they learn this soon because there is nothing wrong with shining a light on our own views and those of others.

And if you feel the need to kill someone for having a different opinion - even if it hurts your feelings - you might not be ready for the give and take of a modern, liberal democracy.

Last thought - Canadian Bible Literalists (aka Fundamentalist Christians) weren't seen firebombing Warren Kinsella's house when he insulted them by hauling out a dinosaur on national TV. How is this different?


At 2:34 p.m., Anonymous Sean P., Vancouver-Quadra said...

WE have hate crimes legislation in this country, and I think the Western Standard may have crossed the line of decency.

To offend a religion of over a billion is shameful, especially if Iran does get the bomb within the next few months.

The rights of minorities in Canada are protected by Hate Crimes Legislation, the Human Rights Codes of our Provinces and the Federal Government, and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms....To go against any of them, is to go against Canadian values.

At 4:30 a.m., Anonymous Larry said...

Many,many times media and on the internet too Christianity been knocked down. When media people say these Muslim-Islam anti cartoons is hate against religion it has nothing to do with the worlds largest Christianity nor the Jewish religion. NOTE-[ Christianity is a plus for Canada. Constitution was written by Christians all PM's too plus in 1918 Christian churches assisted bringing in minimum wage laws.Plus the Christian many,many charities,schools and hospitals also Pastors helping troubled youth visiting family's ect.,. Lots of great art made by Christianity even the YMCA and YWCA is from Christianity.Christianity helped push for democracy too in the Western World ].

At 10:16 a.m., Blogger PelaLusa said...

I have closely followed the "cartoon controversy". On Sunday morning on CBC Radio 1 I heard a non-Muslim "intellectual" justify the outrage in the Muslim community by saying that "images were viewed differently by Muslims than by Christians and secular people". In other words, he was justifying the violence.

Later that morning I had a discussion about this with a Muslim friend of mine. He's a really good guy and a complete pacifist. But he felt that if similar drawings were done about Christ that we'd see some American Christian fundamentalists rioting in a similar way. I doubt it.

I applaud Ezra Levant, the publisher of the Western Standard, for finally showing us these cartoons, for he is finally putting the "free" in "free press" in this country. But I do fear that some crackpot is going to try to hurt him. :-(

At 8:32 p.m., Blogger Canadi-anna said...

Sean p. You said: To offend a religion of over a billion is shameful, especially if Iran does get the bomb within the next few months.

So it's shameful especially because you're afraid they might kill people because of it -- doesn't that tell you something?

If Canadian values include being ordered by government to think a certain way, or to refrain from saying what you think because it might offend somebody -- and if people think that's just fine . . . then Canada is becoming a very scary place.

Hate crimes legislation is a bad idea to begin with. Hate speech legislation is even worse. You can't legislate thought and when you try to legislate expression your trampling on the very freedoms that are supposed to be Canadian values.

No one has a right to not be offended.

Advocating genocide, advocating murder, inciting violence -- those are reasons to limit speech. These are cartoons. At worst, they depict a prophet when Muslims feel his portrayal in art is blasphemy -- at worst it's satire, mocking radical Islam and shedding light on it's ignoble and twisted values. Exposing hypocracy is not wrong, and that it might offend people is not enough to censor it or to bring hate-crime charges against them.

What are you going to do the next time you express an opinion that isn't in line with the thinking of the politically correct idea of the day.

What you are advocating is relinquishing our identities. Respect and sensitivity can be taught, fostered, encouraged -- but they cannot be forced or coerced. The cartoons are insensitive, they are disrespectful but in a free society Ezra Levant should have the right to publish them, and I should have the right not to buy the magazine.
That's the way free societies work.

Sorry Erin. Excellent points.


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