Thursday, February 02, 2006

Piglet Knows Best!

3 Comments:

At 9:59 AM, Blogger Alan_McDonald said...

While I still object to being told what to do by any radical religionist, this seems to come down to freedom of the press versus freedom from offense. As an American, I prize the 1st Amendment over all else. I interpret it as providing me with both Freedom of Sppech and Freedom from Religion.

 
At 1:50 PM, Blogger Chas said...

Alan, In many Islamic countries you would have neither.. The Founding Fathers were pretty smart.

 
At 6:07 PM, Blogger Alan_McDonald said...

In case you guys missed the latest word on the Cartoon Issue. Looks like Bill Clinton was right on target with the Bush Administration on this one!

The official word from the US Dept. of State
03 February 2006
U.S. Government Calls Anti-Islamic Cartoons "Offensive"

But defends importance of freedom of expression for individuals, media

Washington -- The U.S. government agrees with Muslims that European cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist are "offensive," but protects the right of the media to publish such materials.

"We find them offensive. And we certainly understand why Muslims would find those images offensive," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in his daily press briefing February 3.

"At the same time, we vigorously defend the right of individuals" to express views that the U.S. government may disagree with or condemn, he added.

"For us, freedom of expression is at the core of our democracy. And it is something that we have shed blood and treasure around the world to defend, and we will continue to do so," McCormack said.

One of the offending cartoons, originally published in Denmark, depicts the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb. Islam bans visual images of the prophet. Muslims around the world have condemned the cartoons, saying they fuel a prejudice that equates Islam with terrorism.

"[W]e would urge all parties to exercise maximum degree of understanding, the maximum degree of tolerance when they talk about this issue," McCormack said. He added that anti-Muslim images are as offensive as anti-Semitic and anti-Christian images and he expressed the hope that people would speak out with equal vigor against such images.

The diversity of people from different religious, ethnic and national backgrounds adds to the strength of the United States as a country, McCormack said. He said it important to recognize and appreciate those differences, as well as "protect the rights of individuals and the media to express a point of view concerning various subjects."

He noted that the Danish prime minister has expressed his distress at the problems the cartoons have caused. The Danish newspaper that originally published them has apologized for doing so.

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

 

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