Thursday, September 3, 2009

Another European Cartoon Scandal

. Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Arab European League, a Nasserist nationalist group, has published a cartoon denying the Holocaust (and implying that it is a Zionist hoax) on their website as an act of "civil disobedience". This is intended as a protest against a ruling exonerating a Dutch politician who posted the infamous Danish "Muhammad cartoons" on his website. It appears that the AEL may be prosecuted for the Holocaust cartoon even while no prosecutions came from the Muhammad cartoons. Naturally, European Arabs aren't too happy about the perceived double standard. Frankly, I don't know enough about the Dutch judicial system or the specifics of either case to know whether that reaction is justified or not, but I suspect that it probably is.

Which is not to say that I think the Dutch politician should be prosecuted along with the AEL; I don't think either should be. Even if you think these two animations are not morally equivalent, they are certainly categorically inseparable and I think that hard rules should hold fast: either the freedoms of speech and press should extend to offensive materials or they should not. I believe that they should.

The Dutch prosecutor is apparently arguing that the Danish cartoons do not incite violence while the AEL cartoon does. It's a strange claim considering that (so far at least) the Danish cartoons DID incite violence, if only in response, while the AEL cartoon has not. In any case, should charges of inciting violence be issued when no violence has actually occurred? That's a tough pill for me to swallow.

As I said, it's certainly possible that I am missing some relevant details on this case. But based on what I can tell the Dutch court seems to be applying a double standard. For the sake of principles, they shouldn't.

ht: Passport

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Another European Cartoon Scandal
 
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