03 February 2006

Offensive Images

A bit more context on the whole Danish Cartoon kerfuffle. 1 2

About a year ago, the local fuss in Luton was over various advertising posters that showed women in a state of partial undress (Some reporting here).

It was alleged that the display of these images was offensive to Muslims.

My opinion then was, and still is, that they can damn well get over it. If they get caught vandalising the posters, they should be prosecuted for their (minor) crimes.

What's the difference with the recent cartoons?

  1. With the posters in question (which were advertising for clothes and cosmetics, in the main), there was clearly no intention to be offensive.

  2. Public display of images of unclothed women is a deeply-ingrained and respected aspect of our culture, and has been for hundreds of years.

Also, note the general restraint of the opposition. As far as protest goes, defacing posters, while criminal, and not something I approve of, is well within the scope of minor civil disobedience. Numerous other groups - leftits, fascists, animal-rights nutters, etc. - do at least as much. I'm not defending it, just pointing out that it's neither unprecedented nor dangerous.

There was no violence, and the Muslim Council of Britain, after whining a bit, said "We don’t condone posters being defaced".

I'd forgotten the whole thing until just now - the fuss died down long ago.

This might be the explanation for the difference between my view and that of many of those I normally agree with, who are spitting fire and lettuce over the failure of the British press to reprint the Danish cartoons. They read "Muslims are offended", think of maniacs waving guns in the middle east, and go "sod the bastards"; I think of Pakistanis in Bury Park writing angry letters to the Herald and Post. They were silly to be offended last time, but they're entitled to be offended now, and there's no particular merit in offending them for no good reason.

1 comment:

Perry de Havilland said...

Only a few days ago, we came within a hair's breadth of making the Jyllands-Posten cartoons illegal in Britain under the incitement to religious hatred laws. If not for the Lord's amendments, it would now be illegal to hurt people's feeling on religious grounds.

It is rather like a man who falls out of a 10th floor window only to land on a passing truck full of mattresses then standing up, dusting himself off and saying "Pfff, I'm fine, see? I always thought that people were being alarmist when they said falling 10 floors was so dangerous. Its no big deal".

To say your complacency is a very much unjustified is a masterly understatement.

Perry de Havilland ...-