Friday, February 10, 2006

Show some guts

I think the Australian media has been gutless in not publishing the Danish cartoons (the Courier Mail and the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin excepted). Basically, there are two reasons why the cartoons deserve to be published.
  • an example of the complete ineptness of Danish cartoonists
  • demonstrating how disproportionate and overblown the reactions of radical Muslims are
For the record all the cartoons can be seen here .

Now the first reason is of course no great excuse and Frank Devine in today’s Australian does a good job in demonstrating why the cartoons aren’t very humorous. (Although I’d have to disagree with him on the cartoon published above.)

However, he does not tackle the more important rationale that the cartoons should be published to demonstrate the absurdity of the response and the hypocrisy of certain Muslims. The cartoons themselves are completely innocuous. The bomb cartoon has Muhammad looking like a Tsar rather than religious leader. And, compared to some of the cartoons published Arab media they are all rather tame.

Further, there have been reports that fabricated, more vulgar cartoons have been distributed by some wishing to ferment a violent uprising. Surely, it is important therefore to publish the real cartoons so as to demonstrate the complete tameness of their content.

The end result of publishing may lead to some violent actions in this country but since when should we use the threats of hypocrites and fundamentalists as a yardstick for our actions. There is an obvious demand for these cartoons and the mainstream media is abrogating on its responsibility by not publishing them.

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