Afghan Police Defend US Base

The Afghan government apparently doesn't think that violence is always justified in defense of one's religion.
[Link] By Robert Birsel

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan police fired at a crowd trying to storm a U.S. military base on Wednesday, killing three and wounding 20 in fresh protests over cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammad that have unleashed rage across the Muslim world.

The latest deaths in the town of Qalat, in southern Zabul province, brought the total number of Afghans who have been killed this week during protests to 10.

Afghanistan's top religious council called for an end to the protests saying people would use the disturbances for purposes of sabotage.
That last bit - though many may argue that it's disingenous - seems to me an obvious reason for not condemning all religion, outright, all the time. That lest sentence shows that it is not religiously impossible for muslims in particular to use reason whilst being true to their doctrines.

That last piece is why I have hope that our species will get through the near-term technological phase of our existence and provide future generations a chance to be.

Now, that's not to discount the probability of us becoming Homo Sapiens Extinctus thanks to this guy's mindset,

[Link] Like many across the Muslim world, 35-year-old construction engineer Mohammad Amin in Kabul said he could not understand why newspapers were still printing the cartoons, when they knew how inflammatory they were.

"Aren't they deliberately promoting violence, religious hatred and a clash of civilisations? If not, why do they print them again and again?"

"Let's not fool ourselves and the world with this slogan of 'freedom of speech'," he said.

To answer his 3 pronged question of deliberate intent:

Definitively not.


Quite likely.

The answer to the question of violence is what makes "freedom of speech" so much more than just a slogan. It is what makes it even possible to debate the second two questions. Unless each of us puts aside the notion that violence is an acceptable response to rhetoric, even of the most slanderous variety, the probability of our species destroying itself and our planet will remain higher than any threat we face from the natural world. And I am quite aware of what the probabilities of some of those threats materializing are.

The Editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Amanda Bennett, offers her own view of Free Speech and the responsibilty it enjoys.

[Link] When it became clear that the caricatures were becoming "more, not less, newsworthy," Ms. Bennett said, the editors decided to publish the cartoon on Saturday so that readers would be better informed about the controversy.

"There's been a whole history of newspapers publishing things that people would find controversial and offensive," Ms. Bennett said. "My view is that we need to publish it for a good news reason, we need to publish in context and we need to explain to readers why we did it."

We are History. Since we are most empirically, though haphazardly, deciding the future of our species now, closing our eyes to our own activities and responsibilities is catastrophically ill-advised.

Happy Hump Day!


Popular Posts