Thursday, January 08, 2015

  • Thursday, January 08, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
An argument that we see, even now, from Muslims arguing for censorship of offensive cartoons is that since Europe has laws against things like Holocaust denial, which are meant to protect the feeling of Jews, then there should be similar laws to protect the feelings of Muslims.

There is a huge difference, though.

Laws against hate speech, whether you agree with them or not, are meant to stop incitement against the the objects of the speech.  There is a fairly short line between Holocaust denial and publicly calling for a new Holocaust.

The offensive Mohammed cartoons, though, create little danger for Muslims. The only people in danger are those who create and distribute the offensive essays or speeches or cartoons. 

Censorship of antisemitism protects Jews from being killed. Censorship of "Islamophobia" is meant to protect the censors from being killed. That is a huge difference.

It has been most comically illustrated in 2012 by the New York Daily News.

In 2012, the New York Daily News illustrated a background story on the Charlie Hebdo story of the "Mohammed" issue with this censored image:


Here's the original:


The man in the wheelchair is not Mohammed; he is a Muslim saying "must not mock" in a reference to the movie "Intouchables" where a rich quadriplegic is taken care of by an unconventional Algerian man.

The cover is not offensive by even any Muslim yardstick. It does not show any prophets or anything that may not be depicted in Islam. It just shows a stereotypical religious Jew and Muslim. If it is offensive, it is equally offensive to Muslims and Jews.

Then why did the New York Daily News decide to censor only the Muslim character? Why would Muslims be more offended at this cartoon than Jews?

The reason is obvious. The newspaper then, just as now, is afraid of what extremist Muslims might do to them - but they are not afraid of what extremist Jews might do. Since crazy Jews aren't nearly as dangerous as crazy Muslims.

Censorship to protect the lives of an innocent group may or may not be proper in different circumstances, but there is a moral component to it. Self-censorship by news media of the news itself to avoid being the target of attack is inherently immoral because it means that news coverage is being colored by self-preservation. 

It means that the terrorists in Paris, just like those in Gaza last summer and Lebanon in 2006 and Syria/Iraq today, have free rein on deciding what may not get reported.

Any news organization that continues to censor the Charlie Hebdo images is exhibiting cowardice - and is suspect as to how objective the rest of their coverage is.

(h/t AH)



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