Dutch Cartoons in the News, Yet Again

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CM156:

crimson5pheonix:

CM156:

Considering the Jews I spend time with? Harsh comments about kosher delis and disparaging remarks about Mel Brooks.

Shit, Saelune has a point.

I know, I tell my friend that Blazing Saddles is overrated and that every deli should have a ham with cheese sandwich and I'm sure to have an angry mob outside my door. But not if it's Shabbat: They won't riot on that day.

To be fair, if you told me Blazing Saddles was overrated I'd riot too.

crimson5pheonix:

CM156:

crimson5pheonix:

Shit, Saelune has a point.

I know, I tell my friend that Blazing Saddles is overrated and that every deli should have a ham with cheese sandwich and I'm sure to have an angry mob outside my door. But not if it's Shabbat: They won't riot on that day.

To be fair, if you told me Blazing Saddles was overrated I'd riot too.

It's a good film, don't get me wrong. But I still prefer The Producers, Young Frankenstein, History of the World, Pt. I, and Spaceballs.

crimson5pheonix:

CM156:

crimson5pheonix:

Shit, Saelune has a point.

I know, I tell my friend that Blazing Saddles is overrated and that every deli should have a ham with cheese sandwich and I'm sure to have an angry mob outside my door. But not if it's Shabbat: They won't riot on that day.

To be fair, if you told me Blazing Saddles was overrated I'd riot too.

Blazing Saddles is a specific kind of overrated in a sense that you can't mention it without someone going "Bet you couldn't make it today!" and holding it up for only that perceived reason.

undeadsuitor:

crimson5pheonix:

CM156:

I know, I tell my friend that Blazing Saddles is overrated and that every deli should have a ham with cheese sandwich and I'm sure to have an angry mob outside my door. But not if it's Shabbat: They won't riot on that day.

To be fair, if you told me Blazing Saddles was overrated I'd riot too.

Blazing Saddles is a specific kind of overrated in a sense that you can't mention it without someone going "Bet you couldn't make it today!" and holding it up for only that perceived reason.

I don't think you could make Blazing Saddles today either, but that's because for my money comedy of that nature has just become a vindictiveness contest with no nuance or talent. Mel Brooks is a singular talent and self-proclaimed heirs to his throne aren't fit to shine his boots.

Both national and European censorship laws are explicitly written to account for the religious sensibilities of the population, meaning the majority of the population. There are numerous cases of films and materials deemed to be insulting or blasphemous to Christianity being banned, censored or subject to restrictions. There are also numerous cases of violence, terrorism, vandalism or other breaches of public order by Christians against materials permitted to be blasphemous.

In 1995, the EcHR ruled the case of Otto-Preminger-Institut v. Austria that the Austrian government acted lawfully in confiscating and banning a film produced by a non-profit organisation because it depicted God Jesus and Mary in ways which were offensive to Christian sensibilities. They agreed with the Austrian authorities that that showing the film in a majority Catholic region posed a risk to public order which overrode any free speech concerns. Similarly, in Wingrove v. United Kingdom, the same European court again sided with the UK government in banning a film which it described as including "seriously offensive attacks on matters regarded as sacred to Christians". These rulings are still definitive of the stance of the European Court of Human Rights today.

In case that's not clear enough. Under European law and within the European convention on human rights, it is perfectly permissable for governments to ban materials which are seen as critical of religious sensibilities on the grounds of public order. However, this is only applied to majority religious traditions (the only case in which it has come up in the context of a Muslim majority society is Turkey, and the EcHR ruling was consistent with the above, that the Turkish government had the right to ban a book deemed offensive to Islam).

What's interesting about these "controversies" is that what is essentially being protested is not the concept of blasphemy or that censorship rules can be governed by religious sensibilities, but that this same level of protection for religious sensibilities is being demanded by minorities, rather than only by the majority religious population.

evilthecat:
Both national and European censorship laws are explicitly written to account for the religious sensibilities of the population, meaning the majority of the population. There are numerous cases of films and materials deemed to be insulting or blasphemous to Christianity being banned, censored or subject to restrictions. There are also numerous cases of violence, terrorism, vandalism or other breaches of public order by Christians against materials permitted to be blasphemous.

In 1995, the EcHR ruled the case of Otto-Preminger-Institut v. Austria that the Austrian government acted lawfully in confiscating and banning a film produced by a non-profit organisation because it depicted God Jesus and Mary in ways which were offensive to Christian sensibilities. They agreed with the Austrian authorities that that showing the film in a majority Catholic region posed a risk to public order which overrode any free speech concerns. Similarly, in Wingrove v. United Kingdom, the same European court again sided with the UK government in banning a film which it described as including "seriously offensive attacks on matters regarded as sacred to Christians". These rulings are still definitive of the stance of the European Court of Human Rights today.

In case that's not clear enough. Under European law and within the European convention on human rights, it is perfectly permissable for governments to ban materials which are seen as critical of religious sensibilities on the grounds of public order. However, this is only applied to majority religious traditions (the only case in which it has come up in the context of a Muslim majority society is Turkey, and the EcHR ruling was consistent with the above, that the Turkish government had the right to ban a book deemed offensive to Islam).

What's interesting about these "controversies" is that what is essentially being protested is not the concept of blasphemy or that censorship rules can be governed by religious sensibilities, but that this same level of protection for religious sensibilities is being demanded by minorities, rather than only by the majority religious population.

Yes, those laws currently exist in many countries (though enforcement varies).

And they should absolutely be overturned.

Gordon_4:

undeadsuitor:

crimson5pheonix:

To be fair, if you told me Blazing Saddles was overrated I'd riot too.

Blazing Saddles is a specific kind of overrated in a sense that you can't mention it without someone going "Bet you couldn't make it today!" and holding it up for only that perceived reason.

I don't think you could make Blazing Saddles today either, but that's because for my money comedy of that nature has just become a vindictiveness contest with no nuance or talent. Mel Brooks is a singular talent and self-proclaimed heirs to his throne aren't fit to shine his boots.

I have to agree with that. Mel Brooks is the only one who could make Blazing Saddles today. But I bet he could do it.

CM156:
Yes, those laws currently exist in many countries (though enforcement varies).

And they should absolutely be overturned.

Why?

I'm not religious. In fact, I personally try to avoid religious people, (a hard learned response which many queer people have developed) but I have yet to see a single convincing reason why they don't deserve at least some degree of legal protection from deliberate and malicious attacks on them or their way of life.

And to preempt the obvious response, the idea that you can attack the things a person holds sacred without personally attacking them is incredibly weird, it's like telling a holocaust joke and then telling Jewish people that they don't have a right to be offended because the joke isn't about them.. that's not to say there isn't such a thing as overreach, and I would argue that the films I mentioned had an artistic merit. But blasphemy for the sake of blasphemy (like cartoon contests) is really no different to any other form of open and malicious hatred.

I realise that things work differently in the US, but in the US you can just murder people if they say the wrong thing or walk into your neighbourhood while being black or gay or saying the wrong stuff about Jesus or whatever, so that tends to resolve "free speech" problems pretty quickly. In the rest of the world, where we actually try to preserve rule of law instead of relying on minorities living in a constant state of fear and enforced silence, it's a much more interesting question of how we balance power between various interests in society, including religious people, and sometimes that means it's just better if we don't give in to the temptation to hold the two minutes hate simply because we've arbitrarily decided we don't like people or don't want them to feel safe or welcome in our society.

evilthecat:
Why?

I'm not religious. In fact, I personally try to avoid religious people, (a hard learned response which many queer people have developed) but I have yet to see a single convincing reason why they don't deserve at least some degree of legal protection from deliberate and malicious attacks on them or their way of life.

Speaking as a devotedly religious person: Because we make claims about absolute truth of things (most modern religions do, even if the aren't universalist like Christianity and Islam [Shinto springs to mind]). Every time I attend Mass I recite a creed that professes what I believe to be the ultimate truths of the universe. If you aren't allowed to criticize, and criticize these harshly (and that includes blasphemy), then how can I know my religion to be true? I wasn't born into it, I converted as an adult through a mixture of soul searching, reading religious texts, speaking to religious leaders (Imams, priests, Rabbis), and ultimately finding what worked for me. It was harsh criticism of several religions that helped me find the one I wanted. Additionally, I am legally allowed to openly proselytize for my faith (as protected under free speech), so you (and I'm assuming you're not religious due to your comments) should be permitted to do the opposite. My beliefs are strong enough that no amount of bodily-fluid soaked icons, or crude depictions of priests molesting children can sway me. And I demand the same from my fellow believers. Essentially, it seems unfair for me to be able to say "This is the truth of the universe" and for you not to be able to respond "You're full of shit, and here's why, you liar."

And to preempt the obvious response, the idea that you can attack the things a person holds sacred without personally attacking them is incredibly weird, it's like telling a holocaust joke and then telling Jewish people that they don't have a right to be offended because the joke isn't about them.. that's not to say there isn't such a thing as overreach, and I would argue that the films I mentioned had an artistic merit. But blasphemy for the sake of blasphemy (like cartoon contests) is really no different to any other form of open and malicious hatred.

Hatred in and of itself isn't inherently a bad thing. Anger isn't in and of itself a bad thing, either. It depends on what you do with it.

I realise that things work differently in the US, but in the US you can just murder people if they say the wrong thing or walk into your neighbourhood while being black or gay or saying the wrong stuff about Jesus or whatever, so that tends to resolve "free speech" problems pretty quickly.

Your view of the United States is... shall we say, overly simplistic? And downright wrong? I mean, it's on par with me saying London is a dystonia hellhole where immigrants run around stabbing people and your police kick down doors making sure everyone has a license for their telly, right in the middle of afternoon tea.

In the rest of the world, where we actually try to preserve rule of law instead of relying on minorities living in a constant state of fear and enforced silence

I live in a deep red state, and I can't tell you how many "Black Lives Matter" protests I've driven past, or simply stumbled upon. And not quiet "stand in silence" ones. The direct action kind. I wonder, why is this possible if minorities are "living in a constant state of fear"? Totally baffles the mind. Maybe they have no agency and are just being directed by others (that Sorros theory springs to mind).

it's a much more interesting question of how we balance power between various interests in society, including religious people, and sometimes that means it's just better if we don't give in to the temptation to hold the two minutes hate simply because we've arbitrarily decided we don't like people or don't want them to feel safe or welcome in our society.

Yes, I've seen how European countries pull their balancing act with speech. And I gotta say, I prefer our method of more-or-less absolutism. Even if it sometimes produces speakers I don't agree with. I can always go elsewhere, or hold a counter demonstration. But of course, you are free to disagree.

CM156:
But of course, you are free to disagree.

Only if he has a license.

image

CM156:

I live in a deep red state, and I can't tell you how many "Black Lives Matter" protests I've driven past, or simply stumbled upon. And not quiet "stand in silence" ones. The direct action kind. I wonder, why is this possible if minorities are "living in a constant state of fear"? Totally baffles the mind. Maybe they have no agency and are just being directed by others (that Sorros theory springs to mind)

The fact that you're freely protesting means you have nothing to protest about. Logic, bitches.

Kwak:

CM156:

I live in a deep red state, and I can't tell you how many "Black Lives Matter" protests I've driven past, or simply stumbled upon. And not quiet "stand in silence" ones. The direct action kind. I wonder, why is this possible if minorities are "living in a constant state of fear"? Totally baffles the mind. Maybe they have no agency and are just being directed by others (that Sorros theory springs to mind)

The fact that you're freely protesting means you have nothing to protest about. Logic, bitches.

Please tell me this is a meme and I'm just suffering from sleep deprivation because I'm not getting it.

evilthecat:

CM156:
Yes, those laws currently exist in many countries (though enforcement varies).

And they should absolutely be overturned.

Why?

I'm not religious. In fact, I personally try to avoid religious people, (a hard learned response which many queer people have developed) but I have yet to see a single convincing reason why they don't deserve at least some degree of legal protection from deliberate and malicious attacks on them or their way of life.

And to preempt the obvious response, the idea that you can attack the things a person holds sacred without personally attacking them is incredibly weird, it's like telling a holocaust joke and then telling Jewish people that they don't have a right to be offended because the joke isn't about them.. that's not to say there isn't such a thing as overreach, and I would argue that the films I mentioned had an artistic merit. But blasphemy for the sake of blasphemy (like cartoon contests) is really no different to any other form of open and malicious hatred.

I realise that things work differently in the US, but in the US you can just murder people if they say the wrong thing or walk into your neighbourhood while being black or gay or saying the wrong stuff about Jesus or whatever, so that tends to resolve "free speech" problems pretty quickly. In the rest of the world, where we actually try to preserve rule of law instead of relying on minorities living in a constant state of fear and enforced silence, it's a much more interesting question of how we balance power between various interests in society, including religious people, and sometimes that means it's just better if we don't give in to the temptation to hold the two minutes hate simply because we've arbitrarily decided we don't like people or don't want them to feel safe or welcome in our society.

Where the hell did you get your information on the way things work in the US? I want to believe you are trying to be hyperbolic in a poor attempt to make some kind of point but if you actually believe these things you have fallen for some Alex Jones level nonsense. This is what "The government is dumping chemicals in the water to turn the frogs gay" is to the issue of pollution adversely affecting marine life.

CM156:
If you aren't allowed to criticize, and criticize these harshly (and that includes blasphemy), then how can I know my religion to be true?

We aren't talking about doctrinal criticism.

We haven't been talking about doctrinal criticism for centuries.

What we're talking about is deliberate insults or attacks. In this case, desecration as a deliberate attempt to cause offence or distress, specifically with the intention of making a hated community feel unwelcome or unsafe.

CM156:
My beliefs are strong enough that no amount of bodily-fluid soaked icons, or crude depictions of priests molesting children can sway me.

So, a piece of openly pro-religious art which happened to involve piss and a comedic admission of the hypocrisy and failure of religious authorities hasn't dissuaded you from holding a belief for which you have doubtless faced no significant persecution. You're so brave..

Imagine a world in which we had nationwide bible-burning or host desecration events, in which national newspapers encouraged people to send in pictures of defaced bibles and communion wafers covered in menstrual blood, proudly declaring victory over the subhuman papist vermin ruining our society. Imagine if, in this same world, political organisations held "punish a catholic" days in which they encouraged members to identify and commit acts of violence against suspected Catholics.

The issue here is not blasphemy, the issue is that blasphemy should not function as a shield or defence for organised hate campaigns.

CM156:
Hatred in and of itself isn't inherently a bad thing. Anger isn't in and of itself a bad thing, either. It depends on what you do with it.

When people in positions of power and authority in organised campaigns of hatred against those who lack that power, or whom they simply outnumber, that is a bad thing.

Again, it's great that you're secure enough to be able to endure a few jokes about priest abuse. But I imagine it's made slightly easier by knowing that you don't have to worry about people threatening to firebomb your house. You do not have to confront the reality of being hated, of being genuinely despised and targeted by people who want to see you gone. I'm not religious, but I do understand that feeling, and let me tell you, it creates a very powerful ethical baseline.

I will call out religious people for many things, but I will not call them out for objecting when people set out to deliberately attack them purely to make them feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. I know what that's like.

CM156:
Your view of the United States is... shall we say, overly simplistic? And downright wrong?

It's a joke.

I thought you liked jokes.

Like many jokes though, it does have a grain of truth. If there are no limits on free speech, then people will create limits themselves, and they will do so through force (whether that is violence or just shaming and belittling people whose opinions are undesirable into silence). I cannot imagine being a trans child in the US and living in a world where it's completely acceptable for grown-ass adults to declare "open season on your kind" and public encourage their children to "whip [your] ass until until [you] quit coming to school".

I can't imagine that kind of behaviour fosters an environment in which everyone has universal and equal access to free speech. I certainly can't imagine it's terribly conducive to an environment in which everyone understands and feels able to exercise that right.

CM156:
I live in a deep red state, and I can't tell you how many "Black Lives Matter" protests I've driven past, or simply stumbled upon.

So why do you think people even need to protest collectively to achieve rights which, according to you, they already have?

Why don't all these lone black people just go around telling people that, in their opinion, the treatment of black people and particularly black youth by police and vigilantes is unfair, and influenced by a lingering culture of racism which abrogates the humanity of black people. I'm sure everyone would respond with impeccable decorum based in the recognition of the inherent value of a fellow human being being allowed to voice their opinion freely.

CM156:
I can always go elsewhere, or hold a counter demonstration. But of course, you are free to disagree.

Have you considered that the entire point may be to make people "go elsewhere".

Only sometimes, moving elsewhere involves a length of rope, a stool and a sturdy beam, but that's just the free speech in action.. you've gotta listen to the majority.

evilthecat:
We aren't talking about doctrinal criticism.

We haven't been talking about doctrinal criticism for centuries.

What we're talking about is deliberate insults or attacks. In this case, desecration as a deliberate attempt to cause offence or distress, specifically with the intention of making a hated community feel unwelcome or unsafe.

If members of that hated community respond with violence, it shows that there's underlying validity to the criticism.

Edit: And please, don't give me the trite "poke the bear" analogy. It fails on so many levels. Humans have cognition and our systems of law require people to act on more than instinct, like animals.

So, a piece of openly pro-religious art which happened to involve piss and a comedic admission of the hypocrisy and failure of religious authorities hasn't dissuaded you from holding a belief for which you have doubtless faced no significant persecution. You're so brave..

I was just giving examples of what people have tried to do in the past. You're free to come up with your own examples if you want to be creative.

As for significant persecution: I have had a few dear friends cut off contact with me over it, and one drunk threatened my life when I was talking about religion in a bar (but I chalk that more up to a drunk man's words being a sober man's thoughts)

Imagine a world in which we had nationwide bible-burning or host desecration events, in which national newspapers encouraged people to send in pictures of defaced bibles and communion wafers covered in menstrual blood, proudly declaring victory over the subhuman papist vermin ruining our society

All of these are unfortunate, but an acceptable price to pay. I wouldn't like living under such a system, but I admit I wouldn't have recourse if 90% of the population decided they despised my religion. I certainly wouldn't be justified in gunning people down.

Here's a fun thing: Islamic groups have a choice in how they choose to respond to this. If their response every time was "We disapprove of what's being done but we acknowledge that free speech includes the right to this sort of thing" then there wouldn't be any more cartoon contests like this. It would have to be unanimous and unequivocal, but if that were consistent, these sorts of people would have no reason to create such events anymore.

You are of course free to use your free speech rights to try to convince people like me not to do these sorts of things. But if your argument is "don't provoke them" or "why do you need to do this" then I bet you won't find many people agreeing with you.

Imagine if, in this same world, political organisations held "punish a catholic" days in which they encouraged members to identify and commit acts of violence against suspected Catholics.

That would cross a boundary of speech, even in my country. Less words, more action.

Also I carry a firearm and live in a state with remarkably liberal self-defense laws in public places. But I assume you're telling me not to assume this.

The issue here is not blasphemy, the issue is that blasphemy should not function as a shield or defence for organised hate campaigns.

Hate isn't a bad thing. Hatred of injustice is in fact a good thing. And that's what this draws attention to: The injustice that some people think they can use the threat of violence to suppress speech.

Remember: Killing someone doesn't prove them to be wrong. It only shows that you can't stand what they have to say.

When people in positions of power and authority in organised campaigns of hatred against those who lack that power, or whom they simply outnumber, that is a bad thing.

Ah, it's the power dynamic.
Anyone who pulls a gun on a cartoonist over a cartoon is in a position of power over them. And since that is who is primarily upset by these (moderates have a more nuanced response) then I think we're safe here.

Again, it's great that you're secure enough to be able to endure a few jokes about priest abuse. But I imagine it's made slightly easier by knowing that you don't have to worry about people threatening to firebomb your house. You do not have to confront the reality of being hated, of being genuinely despised and targeted by people who want to see you gone. I'm not religious, but I do understand that feeling, and let me tell you, it creates a very powerful ethical baseline.

Such threats are again unprotected under every nations law I can think of and those responsible should be prosecuted and given a sentence behind bars to think about what they've done. And the law of my country already allows. We understand the difference between the phrases "Gas the Jews, race war now" and "Man, those fucking minorities, am I right? Fuck them and their values."

I will call out religious people for many things, but I will not call them out for objecting when people set out to deliberately attack them purely to make them feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. I know what that's like.

Cool story, bro. That's your choice. Just like it's my choice, at least under my country's laws, to do something different.

I don't know of any recognized right to feel comfortable or welcome, but maybe it's one of those European things.

It's a joke.

I thought you liked jokes.

YOU GOT A LOISENCE FOR THAT JOKE, M8?

Like many jokes though, it does have a grain of truth. If there are no limits on free speech, then people will create limits themselves, and they will do so through force (whether that is violence or just shaming and belittling people whose opinions are undesirable into silence). I cannot imagine being a trans child in the US and living in a world where it's completely acceptable for grown-ass adults to declare "open season on your kind" and public encourage their children to "whip [your] ass until until [you] quit coming to school".

There are limits. Brandenburg v. Ohio has served us well. And despite what you may think, we don't yet have a Battle Royale in the streets of our cities just because people can say derisive things about each other without fear of sanction.

I can't imagine that kind of behaviour fosters an environment in which everyone understands that they have universal and equal access to free speech.

Because our system of politics is founded upon hatred and mistrust of the government, and a "Fuck you, you can't tell me what to do, and if you think you can, I dare you to enforce it" mentality. And that's my attitude towards many things, not just speech (guns springs to mind, but there are others): If you (in the general sense of the world, meaning anyone) don't think I should be permitted to do this, I dare you to try to stop me.

So why do you think people even need to protest collectively to achieve rights which, according to you, they already have?

I never said they had all their rights, if you read my post, you would be aware that I was refuting your notion that minorities are too afraid to speak. I applaud them for their speech and in many cases their provocative protests. Flag burning is a bit trite, so you have to mix it up a bit.

Have you considered that the entire point may be to make people "move elsewhere".

Only sometimes, moving elsewhere involves a length of rope, a stool and a sturdy beam, but that's just the free speech in action.. you've gotta listen to the majority.

Comparing speech acts to lynching. Again, cool story bro. Not remotely the same thing.

Also, speech acts have nothing to do with majority rule. In fact, the freedom to speech allows for those who are minorities to raise their voices, in unison, against a majority. Again, the people offended by these protests could raise their own voices in a clear and coherent response that takes into account legal and cultural nuances. But the loudest voices call for murder. Which is again, something our speech acts try to draw attention to.

CM156:

All of these are unfortunate, but an acceptable price to pay. I wouldn't like living under such a system, but I admit I wouldn't have recourse if 90% of the population decided they despised my religion. I certainly wouldn't be justified in gunning people down.

Here's a fun thing: Islamic groups have a choice in how they choose to respond to this. If their response every time was "We disapprove of what's being done but we acknowledge that free speech includes the right to this sort of thing" then there wouldn't be any more cartoon contests like this. It would have to be unanimous and unequivocal, but if that were consistent, these sorts of people would have no reason to create such events anymore.

Why do you think that, specifically? These sorts of people are more than happy to make shit up. "No-go zones" for example.

altnameJag:

CM156:

All of these are unfortunate, but an acceptable price to pay. I wouldn't like living under such a system, but I admit I wouldn't have recourse if 90% of the population decided they despised my religion. I certainly wouldn't be justified in gunning people down.

Here's a fun thing: Islamic groups have a choice in how they choose to respond to this. If their response every time was "We disapprove of what's being done but we acknowledge that free speech includes the right to this sort of thing" then there wouldn't be any more cartoon contests like this. It would have to be unanimous and unequivocal, but if that were consistent, these sorts of people would have no reason to create such events anymore.

Why do you think that, specifically? These sorts of people are more than happy to make shit up. "No-go zones" for example.

Because it would be evidence that such groups had finally fully assimilated into society and accepted the secular rule of law (and had ceased any efforts to try to impose their religious rules on others). It might take some time, but if "Draw Muhammad" events were met with apathy, they would simply have to move on to something else.

CM156:
If members of that hated community respond with violence, it shows that there's underlying validity to the criticism.

No, it doesn't.

Imagine if I went around for a day deliberately insulting everyone I met. One of those people punching me would be a crime, but it would not be a retrospective justification of my decision to go around insulting people and it wouldn't make my insults "valid". It certainly wouldn't mean that all the people who didn't punch me were equally worthy of insult.

The belief that minorities share a collective responsibility by virtue of being minorities is already a prejudice. It wouldn't be "valid" for me to decide that all black people are violent thugs because I was bullied by one black person as a kid.

CM156:
All of these are unfortunate, but an acceptable price to pay. I wouldn't like living under such a system, but I admit I wouldn't have recourse if 90% of the population decided they despised my religion.

Ah, so you admit that you wouldn't like it.. typical, not understanding that free speech is more important than your feelings..

CM156:
I certainly wouldn't be justified in gunning people down.

Neither would you be responsible for anyone else gunning people down. But of course, that never stopped anyone from pretending, did it..

Also, noone's been gunned down. There have been some protests by right-wing groups on the other side of the planet and one dude got a death threat.

CM156:
If their response every time was "We disapprove of what's being done but we acknowledge that free speech includes the right to this sort of thing" then there wouldn't be any more cartoon contests like this.

So, how is that different from what actually happened?

Like, you seem to be confusing "we disapprove of what's being done but acknowledge that it wasn't unlawful" with "we disapprove of what's being done but we also totally approve of it and salute you, noble champions of true free speech whom we seek only to emulate and adore".

Noone fundamentally has a right to demand that people approve of the law, only that they recognise its existence and obey it. That's kind of a basic principle of free speech too.

CM156:
It would have to be unanimous and unequivocal, but if that were consistent, these sorts of people would have no reason to create such events anymore.

Sure, they'd just go back to firebombing people's homes and ripping hijabs off in the street, and all would be well, because at least those horrid cartoons would be gone..

I mean, one could just as easily say that if the far right "unanimously and unequivocally" choose to express their dislike of Muslim communities in the form of rational critique and persuasive argumentation, rather than through deliberately violating religious taboos in an effort to cause offence, there wouldn't be any kind of excessive counter-reaction. But I don't know, that sounds a bit like misappropriating blame to me..

CM156:
That would cross a boundary of speech, even in my country. Less words, more action.

The idea that you can distinguish between verbal expressions of hatred against minorities and the inevitable consequences of that hatred, in terms of violence and discrimination, is kind of proof of a complete lack of any experience of real discrimination. "Punish a muslim day" was a real thing that happened, because the level of real, visceral hated directed against Muslims and Muslim communities is not restricted to offensive cartoons.

It should not surprise you that people who go around preaching that certain groups of people are subhuman vermin will ultimately treat those same people as subhuman vermin. It is not really an abstract point of debate in which agreement and disagreement are both equally inconsequential.

CM156:
There are limits.

Well, they're kind of shit.

CM156:
Because our system of politics is founded upon hatred and mistrust of the government, and a "Fuck you, you can't tell me what to do, and if you think you can, I dare you to enforce it" mentality.

You know who fears the government?

People who have literally nothing else to fear.

You get to fear that the government will take away your right to insult people for fun. Other people get to fear that those who like to insult them for fun will throw them off bridges or call the cops on them for being in the wrong neighbourhood (and then that they will get shot by the cops because the cops agreed they were in the wrong neighbourhood). The people who fear the former actually have a disproportionate voice within government despite claiming to hate it. The people who fear the later must fight for every scrap of recognition.

This is what a fair society looks like.

CM156:
Comparing speech acts to lynching.

Who said anything about lynching?

If the point is to make everyday existence so hostile that people move somewhere else, is it any particular surprise that this also results in people moving on in a much more terminal sense?

CM156:
Also, speech acts have nothing to do with majority rule. In fact, the freedom to speech allows for those who are minorities to raise their voices, in unison, against a majority.

Freedom of speech also sometimes allows the majority to shout those people down by virtue of simply being louder and having more privilege.

The standard tactic of the far right is not critique, it's mockery, dismissal or intimidation. That's why, in this case, it has to be cartoons, and not reasoned critique. Because critique requires a person to expose the contingencies on which their argument operates and potentially leave it, itself, open to critique in turn, and this makes it "weak" when compared to mocking, discrediting or threatening.

The ideal of the far right is to never have to argue with those who are "beneath" them, only to constantly reaffirm that they are not worth arguing with and can be safely ignored or disregarded by virtue of what they are, not what they have to say or their weaknesses as individuals. Ultimately, the far right works by stripping minorities of their identity as individuals, and abstracting it into a group stereotype who can then be laughed off as inferior or irrelevant without having to engage with them at all.

Well, that was a long post, but I like that it went full circle there, because I think it's a particularly important point. You cannot respect the rights of someone without appreciating their existence as an individual.

CM156:
I'm interested in what the posters here at R&P have to say about this event, and draw Muhammad events in general.

I find these deeply frustrating, because they're promoting intolerance off the back of free speech.

It's the perfect area for the new far right: a topic at the intersection of civil rights and raising hostility against outsiders. The far right are good enough at using civil rights as a veneer for hatred already. Liberals need to not be blind to supposed civil rights campaigns actually encouraging much less wholesome attitudes.

My take on it is that although no one should come to harm for drawing a picture, people should stop trying to pull stunts aimed at antagonising ethnic minorities, and they should definitely stop trying to justify it as a defence of free speech.

Suppose you are a muslim that has strong views about depicting Muhammad, and then you see a bunch of magazines with pictures of Muhammad on the front cover. It would feel like the magazine has had to go out of its way just to tell you how little it cares about your perspective. You feel like you live in an environment that's openly hostile to your way of living, to the point that it has to go to extra trouble just to show intolerance to you.

I view Draw-A-Muhammad-Days as petty bullying by petty people who lack a basic empathy for others. I am curious how many of these champions of free speech would defend child porn, or any other form of graphic art that we more easily understand to be offensive.

CM156:
If members of that hated community respond with violence, it shows that there's underlying validity to the criticism.

If I walk round and randomly insult enough people, eventually one of them will object physically. It doesn't mean that whatever groups we can affiliate that person with have a problem with violence. It means some individuals have a low threshold to be incited to violence.

Context also needs to applied to wider political and social concerns. Communities and individuals may be more volatile and defensive for various reasons, often including that they are insecure. They're insecure usually because they are already marginalised or looked down upon, effectively by "us" (our general society, government policy, etc.) in terms of poverty, prejudice, neglect, etc. And let's consider that unnecessarily and deliberately antagonising those people reinforces and validates their insecurity.

So how reasonable is it to provoke such a community and then claim there's validity in the accusation that they react badly?

CM156:

Kwak:

CM156:

I live in a deep red state, and I can't tell you how many "Black Lives Matter" protests I've driven past, or simply stumbled upon. And not quiet "stand in silence" ones. The direct action kind. I wonder, why is this possible if minorities are "living in a constant state of fear"? Totally baffles the mind. Maybe they have no agency and are just being directed by others (that Sorros theory springs to mind)

The fact that you're freely protesting means you have nothing to protest about. Logic, bitches.

Please tell me this is a meme and I'm just suffering from sleep deprivation because I'm not getting it.

Sorry for obtuse - I was mocking your reasoning. They can't be living in fear because they've gotten angry enough to protest about it, which somehow proves they had nothing to fear? That's the kind of bullshit Stefan Molyneux would come up with.

CM156:
To which I would say "I no more need to justify my exercising of free speech than I need to justify owning a copy of a controversial book or practicing my religion"

Do you have a reason for that? As in, is there a reason why you you do not need to justify your speech? I very much doubt that you would be defending a person who is spreading child pornography. Where do you draw the line that seperates justified and unjustified speech, if there is one?

All of these are valid speech acts. Hell, I've been on the side of a protest where we've burned an American flag (in protest of the USA's action in the Middle East). And do you know how many death threats we got from that? None. I've also been at an event where a pride flag was burned. Again, no death threats against us, although we had some very angry people.

Hang on a sec, a pride flag as in a rainbow gay pride flag? That's... interesting. Do you think that burning a pride flag and burning a U.S. flag are equivalent?

Anyway, its interesting because several people were arrested in 2018 alone for burning the U.S. flag. Yes, I know they are technically calling it "arson", but that is absolute bullshit and everyone knows it.
http://www2.philly.com/philly/news/pennsylvania/philadelphia/philly-pride-2018-flag-burning-ryan-segin-arrest-20180611.html
https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article210273929.html

Nah. But if that's what you want to do, go ahead. You have my unironic full support.

Much more fun to go after the muslims, hm? That's no surprise.

Agema:

CM156:
I'm interested in what the posters here at R&P have to say about this event, and draw Muhammad events in general.

I find these deeply frustrating, because they're promoting intolerance off the back of free speech.

It's the perfect area for the new far right: a topic at the intersection of civil rights and raising hostility against outsiders. The far right are good enough at using civil rights as a veneer for hatred already. Liberals need to not be blind to supposed civil rights campaigns actually encouraging much less wholesome attitudes.

Its literally the same crap as Richard Spencer spewing Nazi garbage and getting punched, and 'totally not Nazis but always sympathetic to them' right-wingers demonizing the person who emulated what the US did to Nazis in WW2 instead of the god-damned Nazi!

CM156:

evilthecat:
Why?

I'm not religious. In fact, I personally try to avoid religious people, (a hard learned response which many queer people have developed) but I have yet to see a single convincing reason why they don't deserve at least some degree of legal protection from deliberate and malicious attacks on them or their way of life.

Speaking as a devotedly religious person: Because we make claims about absolute truth of things (most modern religions do, even if the aren't universalist like Christianity and Islam [Shinto springs to mind]). Every time I attend Mass I recite a creed that professes what I believe to be the ultimate truths of the universe. If you aren't allowed to criticize, and criticize these harshly (and that includes blasphemy), then how can I know my religion to be true? I wasn't born into it, I converted as an adult through a mixture of soul searching, reading religious texts, speaking to religious leaders (Imams, priests, Rabbis), and ultimately finding what worked for me. It was harsh criticism of several religions that helped me find the one I wanted. Additionally, I am legally allowed to openly proselytize for my faith (as protected under free speech), so you (and I'm assuming you're not religious due to your comments) should be permitted to do the opposite. My beliefs are strong enough that no amount of bodily-fluid soaked icons, or crude depictions of priests molesting children can sway me. And I demand the same from my fellow believers. Essentially, it seems unfair for me to be able to say "This is the truth of the universe" and for you not to be able to respond "You're full of shit, and here's why, you liar."

You do realize that is not how most, and I mean MOST religious people come about right? Most are indoctrinated from birth. Christians begat Christians, Jews begat Jews. They don't approach religion as various believes to carefully comb through and deeply consider. They are taught that their God is right, all others are wrong...because mommy and daddy said so, cause their mommy and daddy's mommy and daddy said so and so on.

This is why so many religious people are ignorant, cause they never for one second considered anything else.

CM156:
If members of that hated community respond with violence, it shows that there's underlying validity to the criticism.

What criticism? Drawing pictures of Mohammed to annoy people who don't think there should be pictures of Mohammed isn't a criticism.

Do Draw Mohammed contests actually serve a purpose other than being provocative? Like, this is so odd to me. It's one issue when two lifestyles clash over day to day differences. Seems like a different issue when the only purpose of the event is "fuck those guys, lets do something with zero value beyond antagonising 'em"

Gordon_4:

undeadsuitor:

crimson5pheonix:

To be fair, if you told me Blazing Saddles was overrated I'd riot too.

Blazing Saddles is a specific kind of overrated in a sense that you can't mention it without someone going "Bet you couldn't make it today!" and holding it up for only that perceived reason.

I don't think you could make Blazing Saddles today either, but that's because for my money comedy of that nature has just become a vindictiveness contest with no nuance or talent. Mel Brooks is a singular talent and self-proclaimed heirs to his throne aren't fit to shine his boots.

Four Lions by Chris Morris is pretty damn good .

Wow, got a lot to respond to here.

evilthecat:

No, it doesn't.

Imagine if I went around for a day deliberately insulting everyone I met. One of those people punching me would be a crime, but it would not be a retrospective justification of my decision to go around insulting people and it wouldn't make my insults "valid". It certainly wouldn't mean that all the people who didn't punch me were equally worthy of insult.

Very different situation, because this isn't going around and personally insulting people. It's holding an event that they find objectionable, to draw attention to the fact that many of them do find it objectionable and resort to violence

The belief that minorities share a collective responsibility by virtue of being minorities is already a prejudice. It wouldn't be "valid" for me to decide that all black people are violent thugs because I was bullied by one black person as a kid.

They don't share collective responsibility. But as long as there are violent responses to speech acts, it shows that this community is less than fully integrated.

vAh, so you admit that you wouldn't like it.. typical, not understanding that free speech is more important than your feelings..

I said I wouldn't like it but that I wouldn't issue legal sanction against it.
So your attempt at a "gotcha" doesn't quite work here

Neither would you be responsible for anyone else gunning people down. But of course, that never stopped anyone from pretending, did it..

Also, noone's been gunned down. There have been some protests by right-wing groups on the other side of the planet and one dude got a death threat.

Theo van Gogh and the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo would like a word. The would-be victims of the Curtis Culwell Center attack would also like a word, were it not for the judicious marksmanship of a brave guard that rid the world of two blights upon it.

So, how is that different from what actually happened?

Like, you seem to be confusing "we disapprove of what's being done but acknowledge that it wasn't unlawful" with "we disapprove of what's being done but we also totally approve of it and salute you, noble champions of true free speech whom we seek only to emulate and adore".

Noone fundamentally has a right to demand that people approve of the law, only that they recognise its existence and obey it. That's kind of a basic principle of free speech too.

Because most (and not all) have been quick to qualify their statements in ways that aren't helpful. Which is again, their right. But as is our right to point it out.

Sure, they'd just go back to firebombing people's homes and ripping hijabs off in the street, and all would be well, because at least those horrid cartoons would be gone..

Both of which are crimes and the people involved should be harshly punished.

I mean, one could just as easily say that if the far right "unanimously and unequivocally" choose to express their dislike of Muslim communities in the form of rational critique and persuasive argumentation, rather than through deliberately violating religious taboos in an effort to cause offence, there wouldn't be any kind of excessive counter-reaction. But I don't know, that sounds a bit like misappropriating blame to me..

It would be. Don't teach us not to blaspheme: teach them not to kill people. Just like you shouldn't have to teach women not to wear hijabs, we must teach men to respect that as a personal choice.

The idea that you can distinguish between verbal expressions of hatred against minorities and the inevitable consequences of that hatred, in terms of violence and discrimination, is kind of proof of a complete lack of any experience of real discrimination.

Or proof that we don't regards words as actionable in the lack of any real action

Well, they're kind of shit.

Strong disagreement.

You know who fears the government?

People who have literally nothing else to fear.

Or people who realize that the government has a long and storied tradition of outright lying to the American public. Remember how Vietnam was winnable? Or how Iraq had WMDs? Or any number of other examples I can find of governments lying to their citizens?

You get to fear that the government will take away your right to insult people for fun.

The fact that you still think it's about "fun" shows that you really don't get what we're getting at here.

If the point is to make everyday existence so hostile that people move somewhere else, is it any particular surprise that this also results in people moving on in a much more terminal sense?

It's an absurd comparison.

Freedom of speech also sometimes allows the majority to shout those people down by virtue of simply being louder and having more privilege.

Sometimes yes, sometimes not. Hence the reason why we have this process.

The standard tactic of the far right is not critique, it's mockery, dismissal or intimidation. That's why, in this case, it has to be cartoons, and not reasoned critique. Because critique requires a person to expose the contingencies on which their argument operates and potentially leave it, itself, open to critique in turn, and this makes it "weak" when compared to mocking, discrediting or threatening.

It's because mockery is effective at getting a point across. And it's not just the right that uses this tactic.

Well, that was a long post, but I like that it went full circle there, because I think it's a particularly important point. You cannot respect the rights of someone without appreciating their existence as an individual.

I do respect the rights of Muslims and minorities.
The right not to have their religious sensibilities offended is not a right I recognize.

Agema:

I find these deeply frustrating, because they're promoting intolerance off the back of free speech.

It's the perfect area for the new far right: a topic at the intersection of civil rights and raising hostility against outsiders. The far right are good enough at using civil rights as a veneer for hatred already. Liberals need to not be blind to supposed civil rights campaigns actually encouraging much less wholesome attitudes.

I know it can be hard to have your playbook co-opted by people who use it to promote things you may not be a fan of.

Kwak:
Sorry for obtuse - I was mocking your reasoning. They can't be living in fear because they've gotten angry enough to protest about it, which somehow proves they had nothing to fear? That's the kind of bullshit Stefan Molyneux would come up with.

His statement was that these people were too intimidated to actually use their speech. My response is that the fact that they are using their speech shows that they are not too intimated to actually use their speech. I never said that they didn't live in any fear.

ineptelephant:
Do you have a reason for that? As in, is there a reason why you you do not need to justify your speech?

"Because I can do it and because neither you or the law can/will stop me"

I very much doubt that you would be defending a person who is spreading child pornography. Where do you draw the line that seperates justified and unjustified speech, if there is one?

Calls for imminent lawless action. So for example "I don't like [ethnic group here]" is protected speech. "I don't like Irish-Americans and I've got a gun right here to solve the problem!" is not protected

Hang on a sec, a pride flag as in a rainbow gay pride flag? That's... interesting. Do you think that burning a pride flag and burning a U.S. flag are equivalent?

There is no nation-state for gays, so no. But it is equivalent in that it's a rather hard to ignore "fuck you" statement.

Anyway, its interesting because several people were arrested in 2018 alone for burning the U.S. flag. Yes, I know they are technically calling it "arson", but that is absolute bullshit and everyone knows it.
http://www2.philly.com/philly/news/pennsylvania/philadelphia/philly-pride-2018-flag-burning-ryan-segin-arrest-20180611.html
https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article210273929.html

Bullshit charges, I agree.

Agema:
Context also needs to applied to wider political and social concerns. Communities and individuals may be more volatile and defensive for various reasons, often including that they are insecure. They're insecure usually because they are already marginalised or looked down upon, effectively by "us" (our general society, government policy, etc.) in terms of poverty, prejudice, neglect, etc. And let's consider that unnecessarily and deliberately antagonising those people reinforces and validates their insecurity.

Or because some members of the community hold the view that violence is an acceptable response to speech acts and this needs to be addressed, and we aren't willing to give up speech rights to address it. If you can think of a better way to draw attention to the rather illiberality when it comes to speech rights of some members of the Muslim community, you can protest that way

So how reasonable is it to provoke such a community and then claim there's validity in the accusation that they react badly?

Because provocation is a weak excuse. I can say derisive things about other religious minority communities in America and not provoke the same response. The fact that the majority of Muslims don't respond with violence is proof positive that it's possible for all of them not to respond with violence.

Agema:
You do realize that is not how most, and I mean MOST religious people come about right? Most are indoctrinated from birth. Christians begat Christians, Jews begat Jews. They don't approach religion as various believes to carefully comb through and deeply consider. They are taught that their God is right, all others are wrong...because mommy and daddy said so, cause their mommy and daddy's mommy and daddy said so and so on.

This is why so many religious people are ignorant, cause they never for one second considered anything else.

Yes, I am aware that my path to religion isn't usual.
Self-reflection on one's beliefs would do them a world of good.

Thaluikhain:
What criticism? Drawing pictures of Mohammed to annoy people who don't think there should be pictures of Mohammed isn't a criticism.

It's not just pictures of Mohammad, it's the fact that members of a religion are trying to apply the logic of "Our religion doesn't permit it, and therefore, it shouldn't be allowed." Again, we have a long storied tradition of fighting such things.

CM156:

It's not just pictures of Mohammad, it's the fact that members of a religion are trying to apply the logic of "Our religion doesn't permit it, and therefore, it shouldn't be allowed." Again, we have a long storied tradition of fighting such things.

Why is it ok when Christians do it?

Saelune:

CM156:

It's not just pictures of Mohammad, it's the fact that members of a religion are trying to apply the logic of "Our religion doesn't permit it, and therefore, it shouldn't be allowed." Again, we have a long storied tradition of fighting such things.

Why is it ok when Christians do it?

When have I ever said it's okay when Christians do it?

If I were to say to you "My church doesn't recognize the ability for people to declare a gender identity other than what they biologically are, and therefore you shouldn't be allowed to undergo surgery for that or change your government documents to that effect" then you would have every right to strongly criticize me for that. But I've never said that, nor have I ever said that it's okay when Christians do it (and if fact, it's not okay)

Glad we cleared this up. Any further questions?

CM156:

Saelune:

CM156:

It's not just pictures of Mohammad, it's the fact that members of a religion are trying to apply the logic of "Our religion doesn't permit it, and therefore, it shouldn't be allowed." Again, we have a long storied tradition of fighting such things.

Why is it ok when Christians do it?

When have I ever said it's okay when Christians do it?

If I were to say to you "My church doesn't recognize the ability for people to declare a gender identity other than what they biologically are, and therefore you shouldn't be allowed to undergo surgery for that or change your government documents to that effect" then you would have every right to strongly criticize me for that. But I've never said that, nor have I ever said that it's okay when Christians do it (and if fact, it's not okay)

Glad we cleared this up. Any further questions?

When you as a Christian criticized Muslims and defended a right-winger who calls Christians his allies.

You say you would condemn Christians for doing this too...I dont believe you. And no, just saying it to me here to dismiss me wont cut it.

Your faith has said that. Your church and you support that faith.

Saelune:
You say you would condemn Christians for doing this too...I dont believe you. And no, just saying it to me here to dismiss me wont cut it.

Well then, I suppose there's really no way for me to prove that to you then, eh? I suppose unless you want to give my examples and I'll weigh in on them, if that would be enough.

Your faith has said that. Your church and you support that faith.

I'm only willing to apply Canon Law and the Charlatanism to those who profess to be Catholics. Non-Catholics are exempt.

CM156:
His statement was that these people were too intimidated to actually use their speech. My response is that the fact that they are using their speech shows that they are not too intimated to actually use their speech. I never said that they didn't live in any fear.

Much less awful, thanks for clarifying.

CM156:

Because it would be evidence that such groups had finally fully assimilated into society and accepted the secular rule of law (and had ceased any efforts to try to impose their religious rules on others). It might take some time, but if "Draw Muhammad" events were met with apathy, they would simply have to move on to something else.

Yeah, that's not how bullies work. They might give up on that idea but they will try to attack Muslims another way.

And even if they were assimilated 100%, it wouldn't matter to people like this. It's never been about assimilation.

During the early days of the Nazis, Goebbels (I think, could be a different Nazi) described the attack plan particularly against commies. They would push, hit and shove their enemy til they fought back. They would then point out how violent their enemy is. And the were able to prove that Communists were bad in 1920s BERLIN- one if the reddest city ever.

I don't think Muslims should react. But either way, the right wing have already won in their minds and will be back for more

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