- The Writers Voice - :: View topic - Is The Right To Offend Others Important?

- The Writers Voice - Forum Index - The Writers Voice -
Everyone welcome to participate.
Let your voice be heard.
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Is The Right To Offend Others Important?
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    - The Writers Voice - Forum Index -> Global Reasoning
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
DaveR
Valued Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2004
Posts: 1338
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 8:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Is the to offend others important Reply with quote

Ehsan, we see many things quite differently.

I don't agree that the writer should consider who will be offended by his/her work. It is up to the public to censore the writer by not reading the work. Let public opinion send the message to the writer. Let the legal system do its work.



ehsan elahi ehsan wrote:

I called these cartoons uncalled for because, even a naive could understand that these would infuse the already worsoned situation.

I would not have guessed the extent of the violence these cartoons have ignited. When an American flag is burned, Americans don't riot.

I call them provocative because these have increased the tension, not only between the west and the terrorist (against whom the Muslims states have also been fighting) but between the west and the whole Muslim community.

I agree they were provocative in the sense you state. But I am still not sure they were meant to be provacative.

I call them mischievous because the cartoonists knew that these would increase the conflict between the two civilizations.

Again, who knows for sure that the cartoonist knew what the cartoons would do. In our papers, political cartoons, sometimes scathing, are meant to cause change, not incite conflict.

One question I want to put to you that is relating to the present topic i.e. "Is the right to offend others important?" as has been put forward by Paul?

Yes it is an important right. But it is not an absolute right, and we can disucss under what conditions this right should be protected.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ehsan elahi ehsan
Valued Member


Joined: 23 Jul 2005
Posts: 617
Location: pakistan

PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 8:55 pm    Post subject: Is the right for offending others important? Reply with quote

Dave, Freedom of action does not mean that any body is free to say whatever he likes irrespective of the consequences. J.S. Mill has clarified long ago that such a freedom of expression is commendable only which is not aimed at hurting the feelings of others ingenuinely. If it is not so then the publishing of cartoons, demonstrations in reaction, threats, and burning of flag all will come into freedom of expression


Provocation
Yours and mine reaction to the cartoons are different because we "think" differently, the demonstrators also have their own "thinking".

At least the demonstrators know for sure what the cartoonist meant.

If right for offending others is important, then let the cartoonists and the demonstrators express and practice this right.
_________________
ehsanelahi
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Paul Grimsley
Valued Member


Joined: 22 Feb 2006
Posts: 358
Location: Tampa, Florida

PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 10:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Is the right for offending others important? Reply with quote

ehsan elahi ehsan wrote:

At least the demonstrators know for sure what the cartoonist meant.


I'm not so sure on this one, Ehsan. How can they know for sure what the cartoonist meant? They believe they know. In a sense it seems that what the cartoonist meant and what the cartoon achieved are two separate issues: regardless of whether the motivation behind the publication was benign or malignant, the outcome has been one of great turmoil.

I've also been thinking about that essay and its assertions about the secular character of the west which implies that we do not get offended by sacreligious things because we have a casual relationship with God; I would like to think that it is merely that we have a different relationship with God. There are films such as The Last Temptation Of Christ and The Passion and Jesus Of Montrealwhich although some people consider blasphemous, others find they help them to explore the nature of God and what he means to them.

Is it possible that the relationship which the two religions have with their God derives primarily from how they are represented? In Islam God is never pictorially represented but in Christianity he has been given a face. We are used to images of God, and by making him appear human have we not perhaps changed the way we regard him?

There is always a chauvinism in how God is represented -- your God is like you; we can be irreverent and poke fun at our God because we believe he will be the same with us. This is not so for followers of Islam: their God is a reflection of themselves, and the seriousness with which they regard him is in themselves only. Note, I am note positing either as being better than the other -- only different.

That three religions with same basic tenets can find it so difficult to get along is frustrating to say the least. None of them find it easy to practice what they preach when it comes to regarding the other faith, but I suppose having The One True God precludes acceptance of the truth of any others, it's a shame it rules out tolerance of them.
_________________
The word is a prism through which the two beams shot from heart and head are refracted into the colours of the Universe.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
DaveR
Valued Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2004
Posts: 1338
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:42 am    Post subject: Re: Is the right for offending others important? Reply with quote

ehsan elahi ehsan wrote:
freedom of expression is commendable only when not aimed at hurting the feelings of others ingenuinely. If it is not so then the publishing of cartoons, demonstrations in reaction, threats, and burning of flag all will come into freedom of expression.

Why are your feelings hurt when you view the cartoons?


Provocation
Yours and mine reaction to the cartoons are different because we "think" differently, the demonstrators also have their own "thinking".

What is the meaning of the cartoons from the demonstrators point of view? Why do you know the thinking of the demonstrators any more than I?

At least the demonstrators know for sure what the cartoonist meant.

My response to this is similiar to Paul's.

If right for offending others is important, then let the cartoonists and the demonstrators express and practice this right.

I agree. Let them have a war of art, which will hopefully lead to Global reasoning, unless one party reacts violently.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ehsan elahi ehsan
Valued Member


Joined: 23 Jul 2005
Posts: 617
Location: pakistan

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 2:54 am    Post subject: Is the right of offending others important? Reply with quote

Dave:

1. When one's faith is reidiculed.
2.
Quote:
Why do you know the thinking of the demonstrators any more than I?

Because I myself think that they are uncalled for provocative and mischievous.
3..
Quote:
Let them have a war of art,

It is the warriors themselves who have to decide what kind of war they must have.
_________________
ehsanelahi
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
ehsan elahi ehsan
Valued Member


Joined: 23 Jul 2005
Posts: 617
Location: pakistan

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 3:00 am    Post subject: Is the right of offending others important? Reply with quote

Paul, there are, no doubt, three religions but the Muslims can never thinkof ridiculing Moses or Christ because they believe that they were also the prophets of God. The Muslims think it irreligous to mock them contrary to cartoonists who mocked the Muslims' prophet.
_________________
ehsanelahi
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
DaveR
Valued Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2004
Posts: 1338
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 11:01 am    Post subject: Re: Is the right of offending others important? Reply with quote

ehsan elahi ehsan wrote:

Quote:
Ehsan, why are your feelings hurt when you view the cartoons?

Dave: When one's faith is reidiculed [ones feelings are hurt].

Ehsan, in this world, ignorant people hurt the feelings of others. It has happened to minorities in America throughout our history. Jews, blacks, Italians, the Irish have all been ridiculed at some time, yet they have survived and succeeded as things have changed.

Quote:
Ehsan, why do you know the thinking of the demonstrators any more than I?

Dave, it is because I myself think that they are uncalled for provocative and mischievous.

But you do not react violently. You speak out against them, trying to use reason. Is there room in your heart and mind to forgive the cartoonist?

Quote:
Dave wrote: let them have a war of art,

It is the warriors themselves who have to decide what kind of war they must have.
The warriors must not be allowed to choose violence. We must not encourage a cycle of violence. The rules of decency and law must dictate how this plays out.



ehsan elahi ehsan wrote:
Paul, there are, no doubt, three religions but the Muslims can never thinkof ridiculing Moses or Christ because they believe that they were also the prophets of God. The Muslims think it irreligous to mock them contrary to cartoonists who mocked the Muslims' prophet.


Ehsan, it is the same with religious Jews and Christians, who can never think of ridiculing the Prophet Mohammed. However, intellectuals have mocked Christ, Moses, even God. Religious Jews, Christians, and Moslems do not riot in America to protest ridicule and poor taste. I believe viloence should never be a reaction to ridicule.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ehsan elahi ehsan
Valued Member


Joined: 23 Jul 2005
Posts: 617
Location: pakistan

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 2:06 pm    Post subject: Is the right of offending others important? Reply with quote

Dave, again we come to the same conclusion:
"The cartoonists and the demonstrators both are condemnable; the cartoonist for their mischievous creation and the demonstrators for their odious way of reaction."


Do you not think that the real topic "Is the right of offending others important?" has been tracked aside?
_________________
ehsanelahi
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
DaveR
Valued Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2004
Posts: 1338
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Is the right of offending others important? Reply with quote

ehsan elahi ehsan wrote:
Dave, again we come to the same conclusion:
"The cartoonists and the demonstrators both are condemnable; the cartoonist for their mischievous creation and the demonstrators for their odious way of reaction."


Do you not think that the real topic "Is the right of offending others important?" has been tracked aside?


Ehsan, the original question has no easy answer, and that is the reason for this long conversation. But I think we are getting somewhere.

I think one of the problems is how our cultures treat free speech. In America, it has taken us over two hundred years to come as far as we are on the free speech issue. We also live with the concept of separation of church and state, and our population is a mix of many religions, while most countries in your part of the world have one or two religions.

In america, people are allowed to give their opinion on anything (almost) without fear of the church or state reacting. In your part of the world it seems that the state is the religion and people fear for their lives when they speak out against the church or state.

Back to what you said. I don't agree that the cartoonist should be condemned to death; however, anybody has the right to verbally condem the cartoons. From my point of view he was making a political statement. If he would have written an essay that said what the cartoon meant would that have been less offensive?

I think one of the things that is illustrated by this issue is that very religious people (orthodox Christians, Jews, and Moslems) are not open minded.

In summary. The cartoonist may have acted in bad taste, but he has the right to draw the cartoons even if they offend many Moslems. The demonstrators have a right to non-violently protest the cartoons, but they do not have the right to act violently. Yes the right to offend others is important, because you will always offend somebody no matter how innocent your actions, and if you have to worry about offending others you will never do anything worthwhile.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ehsan elahi ehsan
Valued Member


Joined: 23 Jul 2005
Posts: 617
Location: pakistan

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 5:34 pm    Post subject: Is the right to offend others Important? Reply with quote

Dave, there is a difference in offending others by ill-will and by innocent actions.
You are quite right in your view about your own culture, system of govt. and freedom of expression but these cannot be imposed on others as you would not like to be imposed upon.
As I said, to Muslims, there is no concept of life without Isalam and the people do not allow a govt. to separate Islam from their system but this does not mean the govts are fanatically religious. To the Muslims, Islam provides a perfect code of life, not only in theory but also in practice. Those persons who have turned extremists, are not, according to Islam, true Muslims. The extremists and the terrorists must not be taken as the representatives of Islam. Moreover, the demonstrators, as they are showing reaction, must not be taken as majority and they are being criticised in their own countries as well. Muslims, no doubt, have been agreived on the cartoons, but they like to show a silent hatred to what has been done to their prophet, an they resent it deeply, if they express their hatred, they express it but not in the odious manner in which the demonstrators (not all) are reacting.

As for the right of offending others, I think that tolerance is the better way. If you do not like any body, just ignores him and go ahead instead of hitting him, abusing him or killing him. This is a better way to practice your right of offending others.
_________________
ehsanelahi
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
DaveR
Valued Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2004
Posts: 1338
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 6:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Is the right to offend others Important? Reply with quote

Ehsan, I agree with much of what you say and if our cultures can convince the extremists on each side to engage in love and reason there is hope for the world.

ehsan elahi ehsan wrote:
Dave, there is a difference in offending others by ill-will and by innocent actions.

I agree; however, what one considers ill-will another considers an opposing viewpoint. Intelligent people can have disagreements about motive.

You are quite right in your view about your own culture, system of govt. and freedom of expression but these cannot be imposed on others as you would not like to be imposed upon.

Good point Ehsan. The United States does not have the perfect system.

As I said, to Muslims, there is no concept of life without Isalam and the people do not allow a govt. to separate Islam from their system but this does not mean the govts are fanatically religious. To the Muslims, Islam provides a perfect code of life, not only in theory but also in practice. Those persons who have turned extremists, are not, according to Islam, true Muslims. The extremists and the terrorists must not be taken as the representatives of Islam. Moreover, the demonstrators, as they are showing reaction, must not be taken as majority and they are being criticised in their own countries as well.

We in America would like to see more mainstream Moslems criticizing the extremests. We would like to see the governments controlling the extremists.


Muslims, no doubt, have been agreived on the cartoons, but they like to show a silent hatred to what has been done to their prophet, an they resent it deeply, if they express their hatred, they express it but not in the odious manner in which the demonstrators (not all) are reacting.

This is as it should be.


As for the right of offending others, I think that tolerance is the better way. If you do not like any body, just ignores him and go ahead instead of hitting him, abusing him or killing him. This is a better way to practice your right of offending others.

I think others should join in and discuss this last statement, for there is much to talk about here. First of all, I think some actions and ideas cannot be ignored and must be opposed.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ehsan elahi ehsan
Valued Member


Joined: 23 Jul 2005
Posts: 617
Location: pakistan

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 6:22 pm    Post subject: Is the right of offending others important/ Reply with quote

Dave:
1. It is the reaction of the affected that counts.
2. My contention does not mean so.
3. If a Super Power cannot control them, what to apeak of the respective govts.
4. No disagreement.
5. good idea to expand the discussion.
_________________
ehsanelahi
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Clive
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jan 2004
Posts: 2189
Location: Calgary Alberta Canada

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I watched Nicholas Cage in Lord of War and he begins – There are 550,000 fire arms in the world – that’s 1 for every 12 people – the question is how we arm the other 11…

As I have mentioned before – if the crime is insulting the Islam religion then Usama Bin Laden and the Taliban are guiltier then any cartoon can be but that is not an obvious response to these evil doers… A death chant to a nation is an insult to the religion as well…

Correct me if I am wrong…
_________________
A bad day fishing beats a good day working.
>)))))))*> ~J
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
shadowlight
Valued Member


Joined: 16 Jan 2006
Posts: 1372
Location: Here, there and everywhere

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't agree that the writer should consider who will be offended by his/her work. It is up to the public to censore the writer by not reading the work. Let public opinion send the message to the writer. Let the legal system do its work.


Dave,

I'm not sure I agree with this statement. A writer has a responsibility, which goes hand in hand with the freedom we all covet so much, not to put out offensive or inflammatory material, or at least to think about the consequences before he does. Freedom of any kind is given to those who have shown they are mature enough and responsible enough to use it properly. Children do not have the same type of freedom adults enjoy for good reason. They might misue it. Just as writers have the potential to misuse it. Just because we have freedom doesn't mean we can or should do, or say whatever we please.

Saying we should leave the censoring entirely up to the public is almost like saying we should leave it up to the potential victims to protect themselves from attack and not infringe on the rights of the criminal. I know that I am taking it to an extreme, but the essence of truth remains. No one can have true freedom without infringing on the freedoms of others unless a little self-restraint is exercised by all involved. Just my two cents.

marlicia

_________________
Be patient with me. Like any good story, I'm a work in progress.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Paul Grimsley
Valued Member


Joined: 22 Feb 2006
Posts: 358
Location: Tampa, Florida

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Causing offence to no purpose seems pointless. If you are going to do something to stir people up I think you should have a damned good reason. Controversy is a powerful tool in the hands of a writer. As has been covered in this discussion, carelessness with words can be as damaging as any political or military enterprise. If you think a group of people or a person is being apathetic towards a subject which they have power to influence then, yeah, go and give them a swift kick in the behind. But to do it wantonly, I agree with Marlicia that we are given responsibility for a reason and should not abuse it. I think even causing offence can be a constructive thing if you use it well.
_________________
The word is a prism through which the two beams shot from heart and head are refracted into the colours of the Universe.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
DaveR
Valued Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2004
Posts: 1338
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's see if you will agree once I clarify a few things. Assume that the writer has a certain amount of intelligence and thinks about what he/she is writing. Also assume the audience are not children who should not be exposed to pornography, etc.

Marlicia, you said the writer has a responsibility not to put out offensive or inflammatory material. There is no standard for offensive or inflammatory material, and since anything controversial could be considered offensive or inflammatory, what is the writer to do. How can the writer be free to create?

I think that the best way to handle the situation is for the reader to act prudently. There are many options for the reader (assuming the reader is open minded) short of violence.

One measure of maturity, I think, is the ability to counter words with words. I find it difficult to imagine a mature, intelligent adult reacting violently to words or cartoons that are non-threatening to their life or safety.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
shadowlight
Valued Member


Joined: 16 Jan 2006
Posts: 1372
Location: Here, there and everywhere

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Marlicia, you said the writer has a responsibility not to put out offensive or inflammatory material. There is no standard for offensive or inflammatory material, and since anything controversial could be considered offensive or inflammatory, what is the writer to do. How can the writer be free to create?


I stand by my statement. Granted, there is no standard for what is offensive or inflammatory. However, the golden rule might be a good place to start, as would a little common sense and considered judgment. I find it hard to believe that a writer with enough talent to be published and arguably an education as well, cannot make a reasonable stab at determining what might be considered objectionable. I am not trying to curb creativity or freedom, only to urge responsibility. If you wouldn’t like someone to write or say something about you and yours, don’t write or say it about others…at least not without sufficient cause. Freedom degenerates very quickly if it isn’t used responsibly.

Quote:
I think that the best way to handle the situation is for the reader to act prudently. There are many options for the reader (assuming the reader is open minded) short of violence.


I agree with the second part of your statement. I think violence solves nothing and should be used only as a last resort and after much thought as in the case of WWII, but not because of something that has been written or because of a piece of artwork. There are other ways to show displeasure about that.

I disagree with your first statement. Unless the writer is willing to post warnings on books or other forms of ‘free expression’ the reader or other consumer has no idea what he or she is getting until he reads/buys or is given the book or art in question. Why should the writer’s freedom to express himself infringe on the reader (or consumer’s) freedom not to read or view what he finds offensive because the writer/artist neither wants to practice restraint or to label their work (and I’ve heard many times of artists of in all fields of creativity complaining about warning labels). Until a meeting of the minds can be accomplished regarding what is acceptable and what is not, perhaps warning labels should be used…and there can be guidelines drawn up if people are willing to discuss what the majority(and not just the vocal minority) finds offensive.


Quote:
One measure of maturity, I think, is the ability to counter words with words. I find it difficult to imagine a mature, intelligent adult reacting violently to words or cartoons that are non-threatening to their life or safety.


Here we both agree. Wink

Ok, I've had my say and I'm no debater. I just know how I feel. So to quote Forrest Gump "That's all I have to say about that." Wink

marlicia

_________________
Be patient with me. Like any good story, I'm a work in progress.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DaveR
Valued Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2004
Posts: 1338
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marlicia, this discussion has inspired me to begin, about an hour ago, a short story in which I hope to incorporate all the ideas Paul, Ehsan, Clive, you and I have expressed.

Neither am I a debator. I think we are all in the same boat, seeking knowlege and wisdom in this sea of confusion (ouch, I'm streching for a metaphor). Paul started this topic, which has expanded and still has room to expand.

I'm a slow writer, so this story (which will not settle anything -- damn, I'm not smart enough to come up with the answers these issues) will take at least two or three weeks. Thanks for the inspiration.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
shadowlight
Valued Member


Joined: 16 Jan 2006
Posts: 1372
Location: Here, there and everywhere

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[color=blue]Dave,

I'm really glad you were inspired enough by the discussion to get a short story started. I look forward to seeing how it turns out, so when you do finish it, don't forget to post it. Smile

Good luck with it and thanks for the discussion...it's always nice to stretch the mind a bit. Smile

marlicia[/color]
_________________
Be patient with me. Like any good story, I'm a work in progress.


Last edited by shadowlight on Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:57 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Clive
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jan 2004
Posts: 2189
Location: Calgary Alberta Canada

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Karamatullah K. Ghori - Anything even remotely suggestive of doubting the Holocaust or questioning the mythical figure of six million Jews supposedly slaughtered in Hitler’s pogroms is taboo as anti-Semitic and thus not to be touched with a barge pole.


Clive – My Father and I use to talk about the Second World War and what he did. He was an MP in the British Military and he was in the death camps after the war and photographed the scene for the army and then he would stand up – go to the edge of the porch and throw up. Serious mental baggage from what he had to whiteness. So when some one tries to say it is a lie they are themselves spreading hatred and racism.


Karamatullah K. Ghori - Strategies are already in place to starve the Palestinians because they have committed the ‘crime’ of electing Hamas to power.

Clive - Notice the words this guy picks like starve the Palestinians. I am one of the people generating the tax money that is being sent to the people that want to buy more bombs and bullets and kill Jews and that is their political platform and will not renounce there will to practice genocide on the Jews. People will say that the money to Hamas it is set aside and proven with paper trails ok that frees up money from other accounts for bombs and bullets. Let’s remember that Kuwait was sending money to the Palestinians till Saddam attacked Kuwait and Yasser supported Saddam and the Kuwaitis stopped support and kicked all the Palestinians that where in Kuwait out.

Karamatullah K. Ghori - The response, of economic boycott of Danish goods and dairy products, by Arabs of the Gulf and by the Iranian government is the right retribution which should knock the fear of God in the hearts of the Danes and their like-minded peers in the western world.


Clive – I agree that boycotts work and I think that the west should do the money boycott to Hamas and other deals till they can establish a society of law and order and not what we see – kids with guns wanting to kill kill kill….

I thought the writer was a racist and extremely slanted with only talking about others and not his own society that needs real healing. People like this are looking for revenge not healing…
_________________
A bad day fishing beats a good day working.
>)))))))*> ~J
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
ehsan elahi ehsan
Valued Member


Joined: 23 Jul 2005
Posts: 617
Location: pakistan

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:34 pm    Post subject: Is the right to offend others important? Reply with quote

Beyond the cartoons




By Syed Mohibullah Shah


EVERYBODY agrees with a certain form of freedom of expression. But are we also obliged to respect the freedom of expression of those who differ from us in race, religion and ethnicity?

In the aftermath of the outrage against the sacreligious cartoons, Jyllands Posten, the journal that printed them gave an inkling of the point it was trying to make. Its front-page editorial said, “Islam forbids any representation of the Prophet. The question is: are all those who are not Muslims obliged to honour this prohibition?”

The answer to the question raised by the editor of Jyllands Posten, would seem to be in the affirmative even in several European countries, including Denmark. The same paper rightly would not deem it proper to publish anti-Semitic or anti-Christ caricatures or use freedom of expression to incite racial or ethnic hatred or denial of the Holocaust, or publish material on pornography or child abuse. All these subjects are rightly handled with due sensitivity — some on account of laws on these subjects, others because of cultural sensitivity and good sense. Therefore, the question arises: why was neither legal protection nor good sense and consideration of sensitivity extended to the Muslims in this case?

Apart from the ethics of the issue, its politics is also creating a storm. Already some western and Muslim leaders have been trying to convey to the increasingly cynical public in Muslim countries that the ‘war on terror’ is not really a war against Islam or the Muslims. But some of the specific linkages attempted in the cartoons have tried to do away with any such distinction and in many minds the ubiquitous and open-ended war on terror is spreading out into an offensive against the weak Muslims sitting atop some fabulous resource endowments.

The worldwide protests by Muslims against the cartoon outrage have also reflected the bitterness building up among them on several counts in their part of the world. Although religious, civil and cultural differences divide the world, in our global village we cannot avoid interaction with each other. But if we turn away from the broader concepts of peace, harmony and coexistence, in hateful campaigns and violence, we will only be pigeon-holing ourselves in the self-serving ideologies of those who would want to replace coexistence with confrontation and prepare the ground for an even a bigger conflict with the West.

For the Muslims, apart from protests and condemnations, there is also the need to look beyond the cartoons and pay attention to an overdue agenda of addressing the underlying factors in their societies that repeatedly cause impotent anger among them on several issues of legitimate concern.

They — as also the West that has so far not been helping them — must also realize how far their own unattended agenda of internal reforms is creating new faultlines between them and others. These faultlines deserve more serious attention than is being given to them. The Muslims should recognize that their marginalization in the world, despite the great many numbers and resources they have, has more to do with lack of internal reforms and the strength of their systems than any outsiders wanting to harm them.
_________________
ehsanelahi
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
DaveR
Valued Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2004
Posts: 1338
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Is the right to offend others important? Reply with quote

ehsan elahi ehsan wrote:
Beyond the cartoons

By Syed Mohibullah Shah

For the Muslims, apart from protests and condemnations, there is also the need to look beyond the cartoons and pay attention to an overdue agenda of addressing the underlying factors in their societies that repeatedly cause impotent anger among them on several issues of legitimate concern.

They — as also the West that has so far not been helping them — must also realize how far their own unattended agenda of internal reforms is creating new faultlines between them and others. These faultlines deserve more serious attention than is being given to them. The Muslims should recognize that their marginalization in the world, despite the great many numbers and resources they have, has more to do with lack of internal reforms and the strength of their systems than any outsiders wanting to harm them.


This to me is the far bigger issue. The uproar over the cartoons prevents those societies from adressing internal issues. Every society must address the practical problems of crime, hunger, health care, etc. If the populations cannot take care of themselves, they will not survive. The destruction of Islam will not be from the West and non-believers, but from within.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
uzmasaail
Poster Practitioner


Joined: 28 Jul 2005
Posts: 44
Location: chakwal, pakistan

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:54 pm    Post subject: Is the Right to Offend Others Important? Reply with quote

Can we not conclude from this all intellectual discussion that:

1. Freedom of Self-Expression is an important value to the West and the Western Pople expect the world to respect this value.

2. That this freedom can, some time, harm the societies of the world.
_________________
uzma sadaf
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Clive
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jan 2004
Posts: 2189
Location: Calgary Alberta Canada

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freedom of self expression (not speech) brings a certain factor of concussion to the equation based on the (persons opinion) individual’s interpretation…

Freedom of speech is a different thing, there are no – no-s that exist. You can’t say BOMB at an air port or fire in a crowded place… But let’s face it, what we have seen and heard - Allah is great and a bomb or an execution occurring this is what we see. What do you see of us? See not hear…

I think the Arab country’s that are attacking them selves from the inside out; and trying to blame other nations are being miss lead (lacking freedom of speech/information) not knowing the truth (we are in the era of NOT taking responsibility) and ruled by people that don’t have your best interests in mind…

There are not bombs going off every day and night in my country or city; if a gun shot is heard and reported there are cops all over. That’s called LAW and ORDER – something the Middle East seems to be missing; and as a result of their multiple tribes that all fighting for rule as; drug lord, war lord, religious fanatics and suicide bombers, and this has been going on for TOO long.

For large groups of people to be able to survive beside each other they need to recognise multiculturalism.

This is missing in the Middle East.

The west will believe what they see – kids with guns chanting death chants - not acceptable in our culture, and now 50 more kidnapped today will be terrorised for their lives. They might get their heads cut off. Unimaginable life style to us in the west - it seems barbaric to remove a persons head, but they operate in the name of Allah and Muhammad.

It may be true that we in the west will not know the heart of the Muslim – so show us your ability to love and we will believe and WE WILL make a better world…

I wish I could give the people of the Middle East a big hug but it is to dangerous a place to do so…

I wish peace and love but can only hope for less bullets and bombs…


I just heard the people kidnapped where shot...
_________________
A bad day fishing beats a good day working.
>)))))))*> ~J
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
DaveR
Valued Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2004
Posts: 1338
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Is the Right to Offend Others Important? Reply with quote

uzmasaail wrote:
Can we not conclude from this all intellectual discussion that:

1. Freedom of Self-Expression is an important value to the West and the Western Pople expect the world to respect this value.

2. That this freedom can, some time, harm the societies of the world.


Usma, it's good to hear your voice here. Are your saying that freedom of expression in not important to middle-eastern individuals and cultures? Would you expand on this?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    - The Writers Voice - Forum Index -> Global Reasoning All times are GMT - 7 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Page 2 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
The Writers Voice Forum
 
 
 


All Authors (hi-speed)    All Authors (dialup)    Children    Columnists    Contact    Drama    Fiction    Grammar    Guest Book    Home    Humour    Links    Narratives    Novels    Poems    Published Authors    Reviews    September 11    Short Stories    Teen Writings    Submission Guidelines




Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group