Round two of the Europeans vs. the Muslims: Chancellor Merkel is the latest fighter to step in to the ring. Be prepared for heavy blows. Last time the European corner only had to defend pictures in a paper in a tiny nation that no one cares about. Now they are meeting an outraged team in the Muslim corner who have just discovered that Europe's leading country are beheading the Prophet in stage acts. And that is just a week after Europe´s Holy Leader propped the stage by declaring in public that Muslims are genetically inclined to violence.
Like last time, the first fighter in the ring is the leader of a government who think this is a matter of free speech. That is wrong. Try to get this:
To a large portion of people in the world, a picture of the holiest of the Prophets is so wrong that they do not even dare thinking about it. It is just wrong. It is evil. It is against everything they believe in. If you were one of them, you would rather drop dead than being caught in a situation where your eyes are falling on such an image. You probably will drop dead if that unfortunate picture ever crossed your path.
If you can identify yourself with these folks - perhaps you also believe some things are just utterly evil, on ethical or religious ground - and if that pictures being or not being in a paper does not make a difference to your day, why on earth would you ever want to offend these people in this way?
For no reason at all, you are spitting them in the face and cussing their mothers. Although you never really realized that what you were doing were soooo baaaaad to them. Now you do.
I´ll tell you this: you would never think about being so horrible to anyone else. Certainly, it is not a thing you would want anyone to do to yourself. Nor do you think it is a decent way to treat your neighbour -- to paraphrase another Prophet.
Now you tell me: (that is, if you do not mind) knowing now how offensive this is to so many good folks out there, why would you approve that anyone go one step further and cut the head of the Prophet on a stage in a public place of entertainment?
Be aware that when you do attempt to state your reasons, you are actually defending your right to be an asshole. I apologize for bringing you the news, but that is the way it is. You know it is bad, offensive, evil, hurtful, unforgivable. Still you want to tell me why it is okey. Fuck you too.
We are not going to have this debate here on this very evening, but the arguments you were going to bring up about free societies and constitutional rights have been dealt with to some extent in this blog before. (Using the Technorati search box with some clever key words will bring most of it back in a snap). It is not the truth or answer to all questions, just a beginning and we will continue soon, if you like.
But I have a point I want to make now: many trains of thought in that field are obsolete when you deal with societies where your neighbour have beliefs that are fundamentally different from yours in some matters (and only some). What was right in 1798 is not one hundred percent right today, only almost and to some. I am not a relativist and I do not believe in trashing what is right. But I want our understanding of our own beliefs to be free from our own prejudice and I want us to acknowledge that the world today is not what it used to be.
If the discussion doesn´t start on that side, it is pretty much pointless to have it. It will make no difference, just spar the European team against the Muslim team and vice versa.Read
: German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Wednesday against bowing to fears of Islamic violence after a Berlin opera house cancelled performances of a Mozart work because of concerns some scenes could enrage Muslims