I have been trying to avoid political hot-button stuff on the pony, because I don't want to be soapboxy and boring, and for the most part, I feel ignorant about large-scale political issues. But I am a bit precoccupied with the whole cartoon issue. Instead of statements, I will phrase what has been going on in my head as questions:
1) Do you think it is really about the cartoons or that the cartoons protests are being used as a symbol to channel general fury over perceived western attitudes toward Muslim countries?
2) In North America, it is a compliment to call someone an iconoclast. Do you think that free speech is as sacred to democracies as anti-iconography laws are to Muslims?
3) As Western democracy has evolved, we have torn down our sacred symbols. In English, we have taken the sting out of our bad words (there is probably no word you can't say on late-night tv - or sattelite radio). Is there anything too sacred in our culture?
4) In trying to create offensive equivalents, some papers in Arab countries are suggesting holocaust cartoons. While I would find that pretty depressing and tacky, I could hardly find the urge to protest - it is just so weird: a) Is the holocaust a religion? (interesting question, actually) b) There are Jewish Danes? c) Do these publications see everyone in the west as Jews?
5) Obviously we can't assume that there is one unified Muslim sentiment toward the cartoons, but the media needs to do a better job at finding voices who can bridge that cognitive dissonance. Is there someone who can remind us of the meaning of sacred?
6) Do you think that Paris Hilton is an al-qaeda-trained capitalist whore-puppet, programmed to create a savage caricature of our empty consumption and societal mores?