Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Cartoonish moral equivalency

Kathleen Parker tackles the leftist idea that the cartoon portrayals of Muhammad are somehow equivalent to Nazi cartoons of Jews or racist cartoons of blacks:

The other argument, also based on a logical fallacy, is that the Danish cartoons are comparable to racist caricatures of Jews in Nazi Germany and blacks in the segregationist South. The Boston Globe, which saw fit in the past to defend "Piss Christ" (a photograph of a crucifix submerged in a glass of urine) as well as a depiction of the Virgin Mary covered in feces as worthy of government subsidy, made such a case recently.

There are at least two reasons why The Globe's comparison is bogus: gas chambers and lynchings. Both the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan were officially sanctioned enforcers of immoral social orders that used caricature to further degrade and dehumanize beleaguered minorities they ultimately murdered.

There is no equivalence between organized murder on behalf of a malignant social system and a half-dozen nerdy artists, speaking only for themselves, lampooning a fanatical religious sect whose members, by the way, specifically advance the delightful goal of exterminating millions of "infidels."

The correct comparison, in fact, for Nazi and Klan terrorists are their brothers under the hoods — the jihadists who issued a death sentence on writer Salman Rushdie, who beheaded journalist Daniel Pearl and businessman Nick Berg, and who kidnapped an innocent American female journalist and showed videos of her sobbing and terrified among armed men holding guns to her head.

These are the fascist thugs, not the artists who draw cartoons in the service of democracy and truth. And those who out of a misguided sense of cultural sensitivity and niceness try to justify Muslim outrage over a cartoon are, frankly, lending aid and comfort to the enemies of civilization.

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