42% Of French Say Cartoons That Upset Muslims Shouldn’t Be Published

I actually have a bunch of “climate change” articles saved to Pocket, but this article, via Hot Air headlines, intrigued me

(UK Guardian) Four out of ten French people want the press to avoid publishing further cartoons that will upset the Muslim community, according to a poll published on Sunday.

While supporting the idea of freedom of expression, 42% of those quizzed in the Ifop poll for Le Journal du Dimanche said cartoons that made Muslims feel injured or threatened should be avoided.

However, a majority – 57% of those asked – said magazines and papers should be free to continue publishing cartoons whatever the reaction.

Traditional media was treated slightly more favourably than new media by those asked: 50% said there should be limits put on the freedom of expression on the internet, while 49% said there should be no restrictions.

Here’s the thing: should media and other outlets avoid publishing material that upsets others? Not just Muslims, but the targeted group? We’re not talking about forced censorship, but personal censorship. Civility. Respect. Responsibility. In Starship Troopers, Robert Heinlein wrote

“A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot.”

Regardless of it being a science fiction book, that always made quite a bit of sense to me. Too often people are willing to forgo civility. With free speech comes responsibility. Much of the world has forgotten this as an attitude that makes everything not just about “me me me”, but infused with an attitude that everyone else is simply an ant. What does that mean? Do you think about all the ants and bugs you step on? No. You almost never notice them. You’re just doing your own thing without regard to the bugs. This is the way so many people think today. When they’re driving along and cut people off, it’s more than just selfishness, it’s a complete lack of regard for what can happen to other people. The fender bender behind them is of no regard as they drive off without knowing they are responsible for causing that accident.

Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. Was it appropriate when cartoonists were penning cartoons portraying Condi Rice in a horribly racist manner, many which were published in major American newspapers, such as the Washington Post and NY Times. When we do, we should be responsible for doing, be it speech, actions, the pen. We may not be to blame, we we can bear responsibility.

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20 Responses to “42% Of French Say Cartoons That Upset Muslims Shouldn’t Be Published”

  1. Proof says:

    Given the large influx of immigrants to France, I wonder what percentage of that 42% may have come from Muslim countries?

  2. Proof says:

    You cite the racist portrayal of Condi Rice. Those cartoons were vicious and meant to demean her. Isn’t there therefore a difference between those who would use a drawing to ridicule Mohammed as opposed to one that simply portrays him?
    (To the non-Muslim, at least.)

    Should I self censor if what I write or draw offends a certain group? Do we extend this courtesy to skinheads, 9-11 truthers and the KKK, or is it merely religion that we exempt?

    In a polite society, is it ever correct to be intentionally rude? Even if someone, in your humble opinion deserves it?

  3. david7134 says:

    Islam is a very backward religion. All other religions have evolved to the 21st century, but not Islam. Tolerance will not help these people change. It is only intolerance that will push them to make the necessary changes to stop killing those that hold other views.

  4. gitarcarver says:

    When we do, we should be responsible for doing, be it speech, actions, the pen. We may not be to blame, we we can bear responsibility.

    Or to put it another way, what is legal may not be moral and what is moral, may not be legal.

  5. Should I self censor if what I write or draw offends a certain group? Do we extend this courtesy to skinheads, 9-11 truthers and the KKK, or is it merely religion that we exempt?

    In a polite society, is it ever correct to be intentionally rude? Even if someone, in your humble opinion deserves it?

    Those are excellent questions. It is something each of us must consider. I know I have posted many things which are certainly offensive, such as photoshopping a Koran in a toilet. Which got me banned in India.

  6. Proof says:

    David points out that Islam is not an “evolved” religion, bringing up the point are the less informed or benighted among us free from the realm of civility? May we mock headhunters, but not Presbyterians?

    You have been very rude to me in causing me to have to think about such things. I am currently working on my own exposition of this (blaming you), which I shall link to should I ever come to any conclusion.

  7. I have my times now and then, putting that minor in psychology to use

  8. Jeffery says:

    cartoonists were penning cartoons portraying Condi Rice in a horribly racist manner, many which were published in major American newspapers, such as the Washington Post and NY Times.

    Your case would be better made with direct examples of horribly racist cartoons in the WaPO and NY Times.

    My problem with the Charlie Hebdo “cartoons” was that they were neither funny nor instructive. Good satire makes a point – usually against the powerful. That said, we can criticize the Hebdo cartoons without condoning murder.

    I grok Robert A. Heinlein.

  9. Proof says:

    You can read (and Teach, you should be forced to read)
    Civility and the Civilized Man.

  10. GOODSTUFF says:

    There has and always will be “mean” people…

    Knee jerk reactions rule social media

  11. […] I wrote about civility, which was very much a post about provoking thought. Proof Positive has an excellent post regarding […]

  12. Your case would be better made with direct examples of horribly racist cartoons in the WaPO and NY Times

    I gave you two links, Jeff, one to Google images, the other to Michelle Malkin who highlighted them. Take a look at the work Ted Rall, among others, a syndicated cartoonist whose cartoons were published in lots of newspapers across the country.

  13. Hit “say it” too quick

    That said, we can criticize the Hebdo cartoons without condoning murder.

    Yes, we can. I personally think that some go beyond the point of highlighting the problems within Islam, ie, the extremists, to just being rude for the sake of being rude.

    I grok Robert A. Heinlein.

    Favorite book? I love all his stuff. While Starship Troopers is my favorite, the early stuff, prior to his more political and social books are awesome.

  14. Nate says:

    Well said, sir.

  15. Proof says:

    Heinlein’s early stuff was good. My favorite for a very long time was Door into Summer. Citizen of the Galaxy is pretty hard to beat as well!

  16. Jeffery says:

    Stranger in a Strange Land – I’ve read it several times!

    Others I read during middle school and high school. Star Beast, Door into Summer, The Rolling Stones, The Puppet Masters. His short story anthologies were my intro to sci fiction.

  17. JohnAllen says:

    Love Heinlein’s early works Door into Summer, Citizen of the Galaxy and Starship Troopers are my favorites.

    Did not much care for his later books but his writing would not let me put them down.

    The muslim extremists are in a no holds war against us (at least for them) and the moderate muslims (is there such a person) will not clean their own house.

    How are we to act? Due we say please and thank you while we kill them?

    Do we go all out and kill as many as possible and let Israel alone while they remove their problem?

    Or do we do we pussy foot around killing a few of them and getting some of ours killed like we did in Korea, Vietnam, The Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan?

    To continue in our current path is a discussing waste of our young men and women that has accomplished very little for all the blood and treasure spent.

    Sorry for being long winded…

  18. My favorite for a very long time was Door into Summer. Citizen of the Galaxy is pretty hard to beat as well!

    Stranger in a Strange Land – I’ve read it several times!

    Others I read during middle school and high school. Star Beast, Door into Summer, The Rolling Stones, The Puppet Masters. His short story anthologies were my intro to sci fiction.

    I think I’ve read most Heinlein books at least twice, if not more. Star Beast was a fun one, and Door Into Summer was rather poignant. The first one I ever read was Job: A Comedy Of Justice, and read every one I could get my hands on at the library and book stores. Starman Jones was definitely a favorite, as were his short stories and Time For The Stars.

    Time enough for love has one of the most hearbreaking sections I’ve read in a fiction book, the part about Lazurus Long’s wife, a mortal, passing on, and the geese.

  19. Proof says:

    It would probably be wise to mention to the uninitiated, that the best parts of Starship Trooper were in the book, not the execrable movie of the same name.

  20. Good point.

    Supposedly, they are trying to make the movie along the lines of the actual book. Which would focus heavily on the actual armor they wore in the book. Seriously, what’s the point without the ape suits?

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