Thursday, February 09, 2006

Bad Analogy

In an otherwise good analysis of the Mohammad cartoon mess, Gary Younge of the Nation stumbles twice in one paragraph. The first gaft is one of ahistoricity.
The right to offend must come with at least one consequent right and one subsequent responsibility. People must have the right to be offended, and those bold enough to knowingly cause offense should be bold enough to weather the consequences, so long as the aggrieved respond within the law. Muslims were in effect being vilified twice--once through the original cartoons and then again for having the gall to protest them.
Nonsense. The Muslims that protested were vilified quite rightly for turning from the right to be offended to the resort to violence. Were they pawns to some extent of Middle Eastern dictatorships such as Syria, Iran, and Jordan? Sure. But doesn't that make it all the more distressing that these unpopular regimes can manipulate their populations so easily?

Lastly, Younge makes an unconscionable comparison to a totally unrelated and righteous struggle.

Such logic recalls the words of the late South African black nationalist Steve Biko: "Not only are whites kicking us; they are telling us how to react to being kicked."
To use a genuine freedom fighters words so callously to whitewash such vile acts as setting the Danish and Norwegian embassies aflame in Damascus is ghastly. How can you compare these media organizations and governments to the Afrikaner government in South Africa or the violent protesters to the ANC and be taken seriously. This is an inversion of guilt in magnitude.

This is a shame because Younge's overall analysis is spot on: We must do all we can to empower Muslim moderates if we ever want to prevail against Islamism and its Islamic terrorism corollary.