17 September 2007

Freedom of Speech

One of President Bush's big blunders was his reaction to the Mohammed Cartoon Controversy of a couple of years back. (LGF reminds us that Clinton is no better and Michelle Malkin had more comments.)

Bush appeared with the King of Jordan and, as CBS reported it:
As leader of the most powerful democracy, he defended the rights of newspapers to print what they see fit. But he felt obliged to tell the news media they must be sensitive about their power to offend. ...

The president spoke out about the controversy for the first time, signaling deepening White House concern about violent protests stemming from the publication of caricatures in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten and reprinted in European media and elsewhere in the past week.

"We reject violence as a way to express discontent with what may be printed in a free press," the president said.

At the same time, Mr. Bush admonished the press that its freedom comes with "the responsibility to be thoughtful about others."

Mr. Bush commented alongside King Abdullah II of Jordan at the White House. Abdullah, too, called for protests to be peaceful, but he also spoke against ridicule of Islam's holiest figure.

"With all respect to press freedoms, obviously anything that vilifies the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, or attacks Muslim sensibilities, I believe, needs to be condemned," the king said.
Got that? You have freedom of the press, BUT ...

In spite of being one who has endured Piss Christ and and all sorts of public "artistic", money grubbing and attention-hungry attacks on Christianity, I am a big endorser of free press and freedom of political expression.

I think Bush, reversing the order to emphasize the freedom, should have said, "Sometimes people get offended, but in the West he have a tradition of freedom of religion and expression and the press which faith must accommodate."

Apparently Islam refuses to do so, and now a Swedish cartoonist has a $100 k bounty on his head. (Is Al Queda dissing the Euro?)

Striking a (pitifully small) blow for freedom of speech, I here reproduce Day by Day's response. I endorse Chris Muir's right to draw this and I claim a universal right to post it.

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