I haven’t had a lot to say about the Muslim cartoon controversy, and don’t know if or when I’ll write a full article or column on the topic. By the time I finally have something to say, chances are good that the firestorm will have blown away.
It’s not that I don’t have reactions and thoughts. I have plenty of all of those. The harder work is putting them into a single, coherent, balanced perspective that offers something of value that hasn’t already been said. That, I haven’t done. And I make no promises.
It would be easy for me to side with the defenders of liberty on the right against the hypocritical US newspaper editors and leftist European governments. My sympathies lie strongly against giving in to the radical Muslim bullies. I think the conservative instinct is right and timed appropriately. I feel their outrage, but I don’t trust it fully. It’s an easy outrage. There are other outrages in this complex story that are harder to feel and take more work to appreciate.
The conservative’s story is just one perspective, and I’m not sure yet how to balance it against the other important concerns. Fighting anti-Muslim prejudice, for example, is not an expendable item. I’m concerned with giving too much comfort to conservatives whose ideas of an ultimate solution for European harmony is something like tossing Muslims into the sea. But the left and liberal reaction is the most worrisome, I’m afraid. Where there should be outrage, there is none. And the outrage they do feel–usually at some violation of “sensitivity”–is pitifully hypocritical. Theirs is the sort of attitude of appeasement that puts nuclear bombs in the hands of Holocaust-denying religious fundamentalists. They would have us give up our freedoms to the bullies for the vain hope that they won’t be bombed next. Reaction: I’m sickened by their cowardice.
And so I chew on the stories… studying my reactions, forming tentative judgments, tempering my outrages with caution… educating myself on the issues as time allows… but for now, too many judgments, too many reactions, fewer answers.