Saturday, February 11, 2006

Revisiting the Cartoon Wars

I've been reading a lot on the cartoon wars, and I've noticed something interesting. Many of the same bloggers who supported the Harriet Miers nomination are also uncomfortable with the publishing of the cartoons or the discussion of them by right leaning blogs. The two things are unrelated, but there has to be some commonality that has these bloggers thinking alike. I'm not sure exactly what it is. It may be the fact that Hugh Hewitt is the most influential voice to all of these bloggers.

Speaking of that. Hewitt et al are very uncomfortable about a number of things surrounding the controversy. The one that irks me the most is the always thinly veiled assertion that those of us who are speaking on this topic are hungry for greater war with the Islamic world. That's not true. I don't think any of us have a hunger for war. In fact, four plus years of war tends to fatigue a person towards it. We are very concerned, though. Western culture and Islamic culture are compatible only when there is give and take on both sides. Western culture is adaptable to this give and take, as there are already built in safe guards in most nations to protect religious belief. Islamic culture can be adaptable, too, if the practitioner of the faith allows for it. I've worked with Muslim immigrants over the years, and I've watched them slowly adapt to this culture. The problem in this cartoon situation is the conversation is being dominated by Muslims that not only refuse to adapt, they expect the world to completely bend to their will, with force being their first choice to bring this subservience about. Think about it. Many of us knew about these cartoons months ago, but we either did not discuss them or we only made note of it. It wasn't until the more radical portion of the Islamic world threatened and carried out violence in an effort to silence controversial speech that we stood up for the right of the Danish newspaper to publish them.

Mr. Hewitt and those who share his opinions on this may think that bloggers who support the Danish paper are war hungry, racist, or whatever other ignorant vice they choose. Unfortunately, their ability to take the high ground is completely dependent upon others taking a firm stand against the erosion of free speech.

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