I confess, as a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, I sometimes despair that so many people and organs of opinion who share my views often find it necessary to do this little dance to find EVERYONE somewhat at fault in every issue. (Must be sensitive, you know.) I think of it as analagous to the insurance industry principle that even a severely injured victim of an accident is to some extent responsible for having made the mistake of being in the place where an accident was going to happen. No: Sometimes one side is completely right and the other side completely wrong. In the cartoon controversy, free speech is absolutely right and demands to cut off the heads of people who insist on free speech is absolutely wrong.
I can't speak for muslims as I am neither one nor know a lot about the religion, but I am a woman, and I do not have any sympathy, empathy or interest in being represented as such just because I happen to be one. "A" is offensive to women. Women need "B". and so on.I've long since given up being offended at it, but I can't understand the thought-processes of people who assume that because you happen to fall into a category with 50 per cent of the world's population, that you share all the same interests, have all the same problems, and need to be considered as one great big specialist "one issue" group.It is equivalent to taking horoscopes seriously. Look at Maggie Thatcher, I used to say when she was Prime Minister. Does she represent womankind, and when she got where she did (pretty amazing), did she make any concessions for other women? No.In some ways I agreed with Maggie T. In more, I did not. I imagine it is the same for Muslims, do they really need someone telling them that they should think a certain way or be offended at a certain thing becuase they are a muslim?Yes, there are issues that affect "muslims" as there are issues that affect "women". There are many women who are not paid child support who should be. There are many women who are not paid the same as men for equivalent jobs. In the USA, women get a scandalously short maternity leave after having a baby compared with Europe. These are all "issue problems". They won't all interest all women just because they happen to be women. Plenty of men will be concerned about some (or maybe all) these issues too, and some will try to help. (Others won't care, and will be happy to perpetuate unjust situations).That's life. I don't understand the mindset that defines you in some "personal choice" way (eg you must be offended by a cartoon becuase you are a muslim), when for most people, being a muslim is just like having XX chromosomes instead of XY -- just one of those things you can't do anything about. I expect some muslims found the cartoons funny, others did not, others found them distasteful and the vast majority would never have known anything about them.
Well, Maxine, we are certainly at one in objecting to seeing people in terms of categories. And, at the risk of sounding frivolous, I have to say that your reference to "Maggie T" brought to mind the Notsensibles song "I'm in Love With Margaret Thatcher," which includes the line, "I'm in love with Maggie T." (I used to have quite a collection of British punk 45s from the '80s.)But, to return to the subject, if we grant -- as I think we must --that most Muslims just want to get along in life peacefully and quietly, then they are going to have to distance themselves from their more extreme counterparts. There is, in fact, a limit to tolerance. I do not have to tolerate someone's violence. And in fact I have never been inclined to.
Don't worry, Willis, we're going to help you wash away those dye stains.