Moulton mentioned the political cartoons that are causing a stir around the world. I read a short AP article in todays Hearald Journal about it and searched for a little more info. The HJ article only talked about the tension in Denmark where the cartoons originated. An article in the NY Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/04/politics/04mideast.html?_r=1&oref=slogin, tells more of what has happened.
The issue is of a dozon cartoons depicting those of the muslim faith and the prophet in particular in a way that many percieve to be offensive. The Danish press is adamant about their freedom of the press. Politicians in the US support the right to free speech, but consider the cartoons to be offensive.
This appears to be an interesting ethics dilema that poses a lot of questions for me - questions that I have not yet resolved in my mind:
Did the Danish newspaper have some poitical agenda in publishing the cartoons? I know that there is increasing tension in these european contries between the muslim community and the rest of them. There are increasing numbers of muslims moving into these countries, and they have large families compared to the rest of the europeans whose family sizes are declining. It is percieved by many people that the euorpean countries are a sweet deal for the muslims, because of socialism.
I'm sure that the newspaper disussed the chance that the cartoons may fuel racial problems, but chose to run them anyway. I wonder how that discussion went. The riots in France this fall should have been a good indicator of what could happen.
Is it wrong if the newspaper's drive for freedom of speech conflict with the muslims moral values? Should they have shown more respect or restraint?
Most of the US media has chosen to not publish the cartoons. Is this out of respect and not wanting to offend, or is it out of fear that offence may cause retaliation?
Finally, what if the cartoons depicted the prophet as one who is sad, distressed, and angry because of the disprespect that the nations and religions of the earth are showing to each other? Would they have made an equally strong political statement and what would the muslim reation have been?