Prufrock's Page

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Causing Offense

The International Herald Tribune has its heart in the right place -- except for one little slip -- as this editorial reveals:

"These are dangerous times for writers or artists who tread into the always sensitive territory of religion, as incidents ranging from the fatwa against Salman Rushdie to the destruction of an art exhibition in Moscow have shown. But it is disheartening to see representatives of democratic government take the side of those who believe respect for religion justifies censorship. That's what happened when an Italian judge, citing a law forbidding 'outrages against religion,' ordered the journalist and writer Oriana Fallaci to stand trial over a book that includes provocative assertions about Islam....Far from everyone will agree with Fallaci or with the way she expresses her opinions. But the right to make unpopular or intemperate statements is a hallmark of a free society....the issue goes beyond the fate of one writer. Even in these volatile times, Western judges and politicians must do all they can to make it clear that freedom of expression is nonnegotiable."

Er...only Western judges and politicians?


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