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Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris, Chapel Hill, Boston, Istanbul, Calgary, Washington DC, Austin, Tunis, Warszawa and counting

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Night time is the right time (to be in your bed) (adapted by Ray Charles)

Night time is the right time (Ray Charles)

Been a while since I posted anything, a week to be precise, I'll try to get this done at least twice a week from now on. Last week was just plainly horrible, I am working full time in the German parliament and at the same time had to write an essay and study for my final exams coming up in two weeks (OK, the study part was wishful thinking, but at least I got the essay done). Seriously need to improve my time management, the amount of sleep I have gotten lately is ridicolous (giving a shout out to Gabe at this point, no clue what kind of sleeping habits you have nowadays, I definitly beat you high school ones right now though). Right now I am simply dying to go to bed already again, but I at least want to finish this post (and maybe yesterday's paper after that).
First of all I would like to give another shout out to a friend of mine who claims he has been inspired by me to take up writing a blog as well, while I appreciate that claim, I (maybe sadly, since I guess I would benefit from the belief) am not arrogant enough to completely believe him (maybe calling me the tipping point would be more precise. Well, anyway, here is a link to Trav's blog.
I am not going to comment in any kind of depth on the whole Denmark issue, just would like to refer all of you to the following link where you can at least look at the caricatures to know what this whole mess is all about. All in all, I seem to believe in the right-wing/conservative point of view on this (not quite sure whether I am proud of this, because I am capable of differentiating from my usual leftist position, or whether this is sad because my indoctrination into the right half of society has started prompted by my new job and/or advancing age), meaning that I believe in order to declare support to the general and undisputable freedom of the press the images should be spread as widely as possible, which I am attempting to support with my link. But at the same time I believe it perfectly legitimate by the islamic world to start boycotting Danish products now, since consumer pressure is the only way they have to exert any kind of influence. What is not ok is the role of the governments in the Arabic countries in all of this, but then these governments general, well, suckiness I guess has been well documented.
What would interest me in this regard would be Ida's opinion. So, if you do read this (adding even further to my numerous readers) comment, I'd seriously be very interested.


Zonie in Europe said...

I'll tell Ida and the new danish intern at Siemens to have a look at this post and comment to give you their danish spin on this whole mess.

I liked your comment about the islamic world's boycott of danish products. It's such an effective and intelligent way of disobedience, especially when one looks back in U.S. history at how effective it was for the blacks with their bus boycott. Obviously a different circumstance, but it's barking up the same tree, if ya know what I mean.

If you get a chance, check out the new "daily show" clip, which is about this whole danish/muslim crisis. I'm sure it's funny. It's the most recent clip entitled "Mohammed Mo' Problems". I have a link to the website on my blog.

Ida said...

Okay, here’s what I think…

I agree 100% that freedom of press should be upheld and that Jyllandsposten had every right to print the drawings. However, I think they’ve misunderstood the individual responsibility that everyone in a democracy has to show respect towards fellow beings. Freedom of press can be thought of as an ideological framework with the implied notion that every citizen can make its own judgements. Jyllandsposten showed extremely unintelligent sense of judgement. They chose the logic of a 5-year-old: “How far can I go before getting into trouble…..”. Ridiculous, in my opinion.

Having that said, the situation has gone so much off track that the conflict, the way I see it, is not so much about the concrete drawings. The drawings have sparked a much more fundamental conflict between the Western world and the Muslim world that has existed for centuries. I don’t think that an apology from either the Danish Prime Minister or Queen Margrethe can heal that conflict.

That was it. Like your blog, by the way. Great taste in music!

- Ida

Heidi said...

Having read Ida's comment I'm thinking that I could not have said it better myself.

To me the most central issue of this media fuss is the aspect of taking responsibility for ones actions.

I do have a firm belief in freedom of speech but at the same time I also think that the pictures should never have been printed as it is an action that, in my opinion, reflects egocentrism and lack of respect for other people/cultures/religions that is not suitable for a newpaper if it wants to be taken seriously and maintain its credibility.

I strongly support Ida's point that freedom of speech demands for individual responsibility and good sense of judgement. Requirements that Jyllands-Posten, in my opinion, have shown that they cannot live up to.

Anonymous said...

The drawings have sparked a much more fundamental conflict between the Western world and the Muslim world that has existed for centuries.

This is just plain wrong.

Neither did the drawings spark a conflict between the Western and Muslim world (whatever this might be) nor existed a "fundamental" conflict between those for ages.

This is rather what many actors with a hand in the whole conflict intend to construct, but not what it necessarily means in an objective sense (yes, constructivism ...).

This is a situation where a right-wing newspaper produced insulting drawings with the direct intent of provocation (rather aimed at local consumers). But, there wasn't really anyone doing anything to deescalate the escalating crisis; i.e. now, after the crisis is undoubtedly there, are first steps to calm the situation.

But, till that point, no opportunity was missed to keep the crisis escalating (which was of great use for 'certain circles' in Syria, Iran and elsewhere.)

To conclude -- I don't see any precise argument supporting the regularly mentioned claim that this is a conflict between the West and the Muslim world.

I rather see the possibility that certain interested parties will have a very definite interest in further escalating the situation, to which remarks containing "fundamental conflict between the Western world and the Muslim world " are very valuable indeed.

- paul