Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Support for the Underdog

A couple of European newspapers are starting to show some backbone.

As readers have noticed, France Soir and Die Welt have thrown themselves into the mêlée by publishing the offending cartoons that appeared in Jyllands Posten last September. With Lou Minatti adding for good measure, "these cartoons should be reprinted in every country that desires free speech."

Hear, hear!

A caveat, however. The Europeans jumped to the rescue of a fellow European, and of a lightweight, at that, an underdog.

Would they have been willing to do the same for an American newspaper? Or for a British one, for that matter?

Moreover, if two thirds of Welt readers said in an online poll that cartoons that offend Muslims should be published, almost a third said they should not.

(In case you are interested in voting, the poll in the top right-hand margin reads as follows: "Should caricatures that offend Muslims' religious feelings not be published?"
• Should not be published
• Should be published
• Don't know.
Press on Abstimmen to vote.)

I also wonder: Would the French and Germans even publish a poll, were, say, some sort of scandal to involve a Christian denomination in America?

Color me skeptical, but I cannot be an optimist when when all a typical German can be obsessed about in this world is the need for "criticizing the United States", when she compares "American misdeeds" (which are "anything but democratic and humane") to "Al Qaeda's crimes", and when she can write

It is sad that there is nobody out there in the world who has the courage to stand up to the American government, except for the Osama bin Ladens.
(It probably shouldn't come as a surprise that Jutta Haggenmiller heils — sorry, she hails — from Munich.)

Beyond that, Mitch makes a point.

Remembering Theo Van Gogh, a reader hits the nail on the head:

Where is Aubenas, Malbrunot, Plantu and the others? Why didn't they create a committee to support their fellow journalists?

Is the EU going to protest against the burning of one of its Member States flags?
While we're at it, a question to ask is: Is it true that Islam forbids the making or the showing of pictures of the Prophet Mohammed?

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