Sunday, February 05, 2006

Scenes like this only reinforce my perceptions that the Middle East has a LONG way to go towards democratic reform and progress

The publication and re-publication of offensive cartoons to Islam in Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, and France has met with violent reaction throughout the Middle East. Imagine if Christians or Jews reacted to offensive material on TV and print by rioting, burning embassies, and taking hostages? And Middle Eastern nations who demand an apology or that the Danish government force a retraction or shut down the newspaper only draw attention to the the fact that there IS no freedom of the press in those nations, and no democracy among any nation in that region (except for Israel). More power to the those newspapers, keep printing those offensive cartoons until the fanatics learn the democratic way of showing their dissatisfaction: by boycotting the paper and writing letters to the editor, not rioting and demanding government censorship. With Muslim protesters in Britain chanting pro-Osama slogans and Danish Muslims burning Danish flags, the question must be asked: As Europe's Muslim population continues to grow, should there be some cause for alarm if the Muslim minority grows large enough, say in France, to influence public policy to a point of reversing Europe's proud heritage of freedom of speech, religion, and press? A point to ponder...

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