Well, the brouhaha seems, blessedly, to be subsiding. Images, especially in cartoon form, of the Prophet actually published in the Western press shows a remarkable lack of understanding tantamount to blind stupidity. France Soir sacked its managing editor. Seven European publications in total carried some of the drawings, and we all saw a lot of pushing and shoving in the Islamic world, with the burning of a Danish flag. How easy is it, I wonder, to procure a Danish flag to burn? Perhaps someone is asked to run one up for the ceremony.
The cartoons have sparked diplomatic sanctions and death threats in some Arab nations, while media watchdogs have defended publication of the images in the name of press freedom.
Reporters Without Borders said the reaction in the Arab world “betrays a lack of understanding” of press freedom as “an essential accomplishment of democracy.” Yeah, exactly. The word carries a very different meaning in some parts of the world, the West supporting its own flavour in preference to ‘others’. I think we must be fated to develop societies based on an adversarial consciousness. Paradoxically, since most societies have anything more a passing understanding of where they came from, they conceal from themselves the risks that threaten their future.
The image is of a rare orchid, which will lift spirits.