« South Dakota Bans Abortions | Main | Al Gore On The March? »
The Cartoon Wars just got sillier, if one can imagine such a development. Malaysia has now sanctioned a newspaper for publishing a cartoon that satirizes the protest over the Prophet cartoons, calling the cartoon "inappropriate":
Malaysia has reprimanded one of its biggest daily newspapers for printing a cartoon lampooning the global controversy over caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad.
The government's move has fanned a hot debate in this mainly Muslim country about where to draw the line between press freedom and respect of religion, because this time it involves a newspaper closely aligned with mainstream Muslim opinion.
The English-language New Straits Times had defended its right this week to publish the cartoon, which featured a street artist offering "caricatures of Muhammad while you wait."
But the government, a prominent voice in the Islamic world, felt it crossed the line and its internal security ministry had given the daily three days to explain itself, the New Straits Times said on its front page on Thursday.
The cartoon in question is an installment of "Non Sequitur", a satiric look at politics and culture drawn by Wiley Miller and popular in the United States. NST didn't even draw the cartoon but instead ran it as part of its syndication process. It didn't depict Mohammed or even the Qu'ran in a bad light, but instead criticized the knee-jerk lunatics flooding streets around the world, killing people and burning embassies over cartoons. It shows yet again that the issue behind the protests isn't a blasphemous drawing of the Prophet, but a global instinct to violent reaction to any critical look at Islam or its practitioners.
If the media hasn't figured that much out -- and they haven't -- at least Alan Dershowitz and Bill Bennett have. They point out the failure and cowardice of the supposed bastion of free speech and scold them for their capitulation:
To put it simply, radical Islamists have won a war of intimidation. They have cowed the major news media from showing these cartoons. The mainstream press has capitulated to the Islamists -- their threats more than their sensibilities. One did not see Catholics claiming the right to mayhem in the wake of the republished depiction of the Virgin Mary covered in cow dung, any more than one saw a rejuvenated Jewish Defense League take to the street or blow up an office when Ariel Sharon was depicted as Hitler or when the Israeli army was depicted as murdering the baby Jesus.
So far as we can tell, a new, twin policy from the mainstream media has been promulgated: (a) If a group is strong enough in its reaction to a story or caricature, the press will refrain from printing that story or caricature, and (b) if the group is pandered to by the mainstream media, the media then will go through elaborate contortions and defenses to justify its abdication of duty. At bottom, this is an unacceptable form of not-so-benign bigotry, representing a higher expectation from Christians and Jews than from Muslims.
Read the entire essay from the liberal Harvard professor and his conservative former student. The utter failure of the press to inform its readers and to defend free speech and open criticism has been remarked several times on this blog, but this effort by Dershowitz and Bennett will have major repercussions for the media in the politics of the day. We saw this coming with the media's love affair with the McCain-Feingold Act, in which Congress basically bribed the media with an exemption to the near-ban on political speech they imposed on almost everyone else. Once someone sells out, it becomes much easier to convince them to do it again.
When leading lights from across the political spectrum rise up to condemn the media for their cowardice -- I can find no other word -- the media can no longer hide behind a partisan analysis of the critique. They have exposed their own pusillanimity, and all Dershowitz and Bennett do here is shine a light on it.
UPDATE: Mark Tapscott says it's not just pusillanimity -- the leftists honestly believe in stifling dissent.Sphere It View blog reactions
TrackBack URL for this entry is
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference No Making Fun Of Making Fun In Islam:
» Muhammad Caricature Watch: Malaysia Reprimands Newspaper for Lampoon Muhammad Caricature Cartoon from FullosseousFlap's Dental Blog
Reuters: Malaysia slaps newspaper in twist to cartoon row Malaysia has reprimanded one of its biggest daily newspapers for printing a cartoon lampooning the global controversy over caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad. The government’s move h... [Read More]
Tracked on February 23, 2006 12:07 PM
» No Making Fun Of Making Fun In Islam from NoisyRoom.net
Courtesy of Captain’s Quarters: The Cartoon Wars just got sillier, if one can imagine such a development. Malaysia has now sanctioned a newspaper for publishing a cartoon that satirizes the protest over the Prophet cartoons, calling the cartoon... [Read More]
Tracked on February 23, 2006 1:05 PM
» And Now for Something Old… from Liberty Just In Case
Another thing I wished would go away… But since it didn’t… Lets look at some more cartoons on the subject… There now is trouble in Malaysia… Over that cartoon… This from Michelle Malkin… The New Straits Times... [Read More]
Tracked on February 24, 2006 10:45 AM
My Other Blog!
Comment Moderation Policy - Please Read!
Skin The Site
Des Moines Register
International Herald Tribune
The Weekly Standard
The New Republic
AP News (Yahoo! Headlines)
Guardian Unlimited (UK)
New York Times
Los Angeles Times
- dave on Another National Health Care System Horror Story
- brooklyn on Hillary Not Hsu Happy
- rbj on Hillary Not Hsu Happy
- Robin S on Requiem For A Betrayed Hero
- Ken on Hillary Not Hsu Happy
- Robin S. on Requiem For A Betrayed Hero
- RBMN on Hillary Not Hsu Happy
- NoDonkey on Another National Health Care System Horror Story
- Robin Munn on Fred Thompson Interview Transcript
- filistro on When Exactly Did Art Die?
Proud Ex-Pat Member of the Bear Flag League!