This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Comment

← Yale Surrenders - Why did Yale University Press remove images of Mohammed from a book about the Danish cartoons?

MelM's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by MelM

A very good article from Hitchens! I see the following as the heart of it:

"It was bad enough during the original controversy, when most of the news media—and in the age of "the image" at that—refused to show the cartoons out of simple fear. But now the rot has gone a serious degree further into the fabric. Now we have to say that the mayhem we fear is also our fault, if not indeed our direct responsibility"
An end to freedom of speech!
If putting the cartoons in a book is someday legally surpressed, it's thinking like that attributed to Y.U.P. that will have led the way. What if some atheist were to go out and shoot a holy man? What if the pious riot (or threaten to riot) when an atheist speaker comes to town? The views attributed to Y.U.P. could be used to justify pulling TGD from the book stores, shuting down this blog, and ending speaking tours by atheists. "The welfare of others" type justifications for suppressing freedom of speech are already an issue in the U.S. If it were not for the 1st Amendment, I believe we'd already be a long way down that road. I don't remember a support for curtailing freedom of speech that's not, in someway, justified by the "public interest".

A view of "instigating violence".
Yes, someone, somewhere, somehow, could take something I say and conclude that he should do harm to himself or others. To take a crack at what it means to "instigate violence", I don't think I'm instigating violence unless what I'm saying calls for and is intended to create or continue an act of violence or threat of violence: it's therefore not just a view but it's part of an act or threat of an act. At the time of Dr. Tiller's (the abortion doctor) murder, one comment I read said that such doctors should be shot. As bad as this is, I don't think it constitutes "instigation of violence". If it were said in the midst of a riot, for example, I think it would constitutue instigation: so, I think context also should matter.

The U.N. will like this.
I note also that the view of Y.U.P. would be welcome by the U.N. folks who want suppression of criticism of religion. Look for it to be quoted approvingly!

Edit: I think the way to fight the Islamists on this is for every publication to show the cartoons as needed. Use the "I am Spartacus." tactic.

Tue, 18 Aug 2009 19:57:00 UTC | #389545