Sydney Kendall Says

Thinking in public about anything that matters.

Month: February 2006 (page 2 of 2)


Zounds! I’ve been so zoomed in on the cartoon jihad that I completely missed inspiring big news on another crucial front!

Go read: Corporate Courage by Walter Williams.

The full-service bank, Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T), has announced that it will not lend money to any business who gains private property for its projects through eminent domain.

This is a truly moral stand.

An extraordinary one.

I applaud and hoot and holler and cheer for BB&T! And if I could afford it, I’d invest in their company out of the sheer desire to be part of a business that refuses to profit from a crime, even when the crime has been made legal.

Three-thousand cheers for BB&T!

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Cartoons and Liberty III – More Links

This time I give you excellent commentary by writers for the Ayn Rand Institute on the subject of free speech and the Jyllands-Posten cartoons:

The Cartoon Jihad: Free Speech in the Balance By Christian Beenfeldt and Onkar Ghate.

The Twilight of Freedom of Speech By Onkar Ghate.

“Muslim Opinion” be Damned By Alex Epstein.

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Analyzing the Cartoons I

I’ve been looking at those rage-inducing political cartoons again, because my first impressions of them were that for the most part, they were fairly gentle for political satire. And the one that is usually tagged as the most provocative – the one of a bearded Arab with a bomb incorporated into his turban – is one of the most ambiguous.

So I’ve decided to try to analyze these cartoons – not all at once, but as I have time. I’ll start with the turban bomb. Continue reading

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Cartoons and Liberty II – More Links

So far on my blog I have offered several links to commentaries about the Danish Mohammed cartoons. These are contained under the post headings “Cartoons and Liberty”, “An Intelligent Cartoon”, and “Lies Die when Speech is Free”, and “An Intelligent Reply”. This last one doesn’t agree with me or any of my other links on the rightness of publishing the cartoons, but does offer an intelligent dissent.

Happily, I keep finding more good commentaries supporting freedom of speech as I believe it should be supported, so here is an additional list of articles for your considertion:

Cartoon Rage By Diana West, Washington Times.

“Must-See TV” a cartoon by Cox and Forkum, followed by commentary.

Curse of the Moderates by Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post.

Print Free or Die by Michael Graham, Jewish World Review. You’ll have to scroll down past a blank space on this one before you get to the article, but there’s a good reason why. : D

Just to Sing The Belmont Club blog. “…the EU is preparing regulations to restrict speech to prevent angering religious communities.”

The Past as Prologue The Belmont Club blog. “And now it turns out that these cartoons have been circulated in the Muslim world, in Egyptian newspapers to be precise, as far back as October 2005.”

As you can tell by now, I see the present controversy over the Danish Mohammed cartoons to be especially important. I hadn’t blogged for quite awhile, until violence broke out over 12 cartoons featuring the Prophet Mohammed.

These cartoons and the Muslim and non-Muslim reactions to them clarifies issues that for many have been blurred until now. These are issues that make the difference between intellectual freedom and submission. We’d better pay attention.

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“Lies Die when Speech is Free”

The title of this post is taken from a commentary in the Herald Sun here in Autralia, titled “A Pig in a Poke!” by Andrew Bolt.

I think this may be the best commentary I’ve read yet on the issue of free speech, in relation to the Mohammed cartoons clamor.

Congratulations to Andrew Bolt for this exceptional article!

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An Intelligent Cartoon

Cox and Forkum have created a cartoon that I believe is far more nuanced and fair to moderate Muslims than the Danish cartoons racing around the web. Its razor is also sharper and cuts deeper:

Image Problem

I didn’t “get” several of the cartoons that have outraged so many Muslims. Perhaps this is because I couldn’t read the Arabic and Danish inscriptions. But I did get the one about running out of virgins, the one with the bomb in the turban (although I don’t know what the insignia on the turban says), and I think I get the one with the two women in burkhas with Mohammed (I assume) between them, wielding a mean-looking scimitar.

These 3 Danish cartoons have been taken to imply that Mohammed is on the side of the suicide bomber/violent Islamists. Now, that’s not what would enrage the crazed rioters – they’re on the warpath because Mohammed was depicted in a drawing at all, which is a forbidden act. And the fact that it was done by Westerners in a mocking form is the butane under the flames of mob violence.

But moderate Muslims – civilized, modern people of the Islamic faith – are more upset that Continue reading

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An Intelligent Reply

In response to my most recent blog post, Imran Anwar posted a link to his blog Imran Anwar’s In My Humble Opinion and his pertinent commentary “Let’s Make New Cartoons of the Prophet” Anwar takes to task both those people who support the cartoonists’ choice to make the cartoons and the groups of Muslims who have reacted violently.

It’s a cool-headed, civilized, intelligent commentary with numerous points to consider. I do not agree with some portions of his opinion, but he deserves a considered and respectful reply.

However, it might be awhile before I have a bloc of free time to consider a reply, so I have put his article’s address above, instead of buried under my blog post “Cartoons and Liberty”. Please examine his ideas for yourself and have your say, if you’d like.

Engagement with contrasting views is a good thing.


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Cartoons and Liberty

Feel like reading more from those who support free speech and free cartooning?

Here are a couple of links regarding the Danish Mohammed cartoons – links in support of freedom of expression.

Democracy in a Cartoon by Ibn Warraq. Warraq is the best-selling author of “Why I am not a Muslim” and other books regarding Islam. He was educated in Koran schools in Pakistan, but now lives in the USA and writes under the traditional pseudonym for dissidents in Islam.

Hold the Line/Tenez Vos Positions Ah! The Dissident Frogman is probably my favorite Frenchman ever! Intelligent, witty, charming and supported by a steel backbone of liberty’s principles. Read his blog, and link to him using one of his clever “Support Denmark” banners.

And how about a link to the cartoons themselves? Prodos has posted them so that people can comment on his posting board, The 1776

Added Feb 8, 2006:
Free Speech has Liberals Tongue-tied Janet Albrechtsen, of The Australian newspaper, expresses her views on the slow surrender of Western values as illustrated by certain responses to the cartoon controversy.

Fear is Not Funny by Andrew Bolt, writing in Australia’s Herald Sun. Bolt believes the real reason Australian papers are refusing to re-print the Danish cartoons is fear. “Habits of free speech good enough for generations of Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jews are too much for Muslims whose anger scares even their [Australian Muslim] leaders. Not publishing is a gesture not of respect, but of fear.” Bolt supports that decision not to reprint, but reluctantly and with a great deal of concern about what comes next….

Continue reading

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The Cartoon War

You probably already know about the cartoons published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten depicting the Prophet Mohammed, which has caused an uproar in the Muslim world – an uproar that includes at least one riot and the setting on fire of the Danish Embassy in Lebanon. (I don’t know if it actually burned down or not.)

I’ve just read this: Aust Muslims warn against publishing cartoon
and I want to say this:

When Dr Ameer Ali, president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, asks: “Which is more important – to preserve the freedom of speech or to antagonise one fifth of humanity?” I know what my answer is. How about you? Continue reading

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