Jyllands-Posten has already apologized for offending Muslim sensibilities but refused to go beyond that. It defends its right to publish them as part of freedom of the press. Says its cultural editor, Flemming Rose: “These [cartoons] were not directed against Muslims but against people in cultural life in Europe who are submitting themselves to self-censorship when dealing with Islam.”Gee, Choy, I thought you knew...Capital Blasphemy was obsoleted with the adoption of a democratic Constitution. It's Liberty that has become our core belief, to which we commit our lives and passions. I thought you were on board with that!
Is this sufficient justification? I think not. I’ve seen the cartoons and read many of the commentaries on them, many of them thoughtful ones by journalists themselves, and I join those who say this is not an issue of freedom of the press at all, it is one of basic decency and respect......That is so because blasphemy no longer carries as much weight to Christians today as it did during the Inquisition, when to blaspheme was to invite oneself to a roasting in the square. To appreciate the gravity of the provocation, one has to find a comparable core belief or value in Western society, one attended by the same passionate, intense, life-and-death commitments.
MUSLIM JOURNALISTS JAILED FOR PUBLISHING CARTOONS, NEWSPAPERS CLOSED! How can anyone claim that Press Freedom has nothing to do with this? Reporters Without Borders reports from Yemen --
Hat Tip: MM
Reporters Without Borders expressed dismay at the arrest, on 10 February 2006, of Abdel Halim Akram Sabra, editor of the independent weekly Al-Hurriya, journalist Yahya Al Aabed and editor of the Yemen Observer Mohammed Al Asaadi, for publishing the controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
Al Hurriya and two other newspapers that published the cartoons, the Yemen Observer and the Al Raî Al Aam have been closed.
Knowing how things work around here, Choy's column today will surely become the template of talking points, for the many who use him as a substitute for thinking in the Main and Blog Stream media. I have to congratulate him though for being brave enough to even comment on this controversial issue. Most editorials and columnists have studiously bit their tongue so far and kept a safe but contemptible silence. And how to explain all the stuff CDQ's been writing for years, including when he opposed tougher libel laws for journalists last year --
CDQ: It's a vicious thought, and one we may not let pass. They are not alone to suggest so. Only a few weeks ago, several representatives proposed that tougher libel bills be passed to stop the killings. "The murders of the journalists," they opined, "could be due to Filipinos being sensitive to criticisms and the country's libel laws being ineffective." Tougher libel laws would make media more responsible and therefore reduce the killings. I am glad that Anakpawis Party-List Rep. Rafael Mariano spoke out against it, saying it was a move to curtail press freedom in this country. But it's clearly more than that. It is a move to curtail sanity in this country. Can any idea be more idiotic? If we Filipinos are sensitive to criticism, then we shouldn't have a democracy at all. We shouldn't have a free press, we should have a PR press, or the kind that flourished during martial law, where the Daily Express and other newspapers routinely dished out narcotic praises to government officials.So why in the world would Choy defend the rights of Muslim rioters to call for the death of journalists, the burning of their embassies and the boycotting of totally innocent food and dairy companies but would side with the leftists and the communists in blaming the government for the death of journalists in the Philippines. Could it have something to do with "the enemy of your enemy is your friend?"
"RESPONSIBLE JOURNALISM" And what about this Petition for Press Freedom from the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, opposing the insertion of the phrase "responsible journalism" into the proposed Constitution. I suppose I should publish the Petition and the names of the signatories since I expect many of them will be following Conrado de Quiros into the land of moral and logical consistency. It would be interesting to find out what position on the Danish cartoon controversy each of the signatories below will publicly take. It would be a calibration point for the strength of Philippine democracy... (I support the following statement by the way...)
Proposed amendment to Bill of Rights: A menace to Philippine democracyWhy would Conrad take this position on the Danish cartoons that so patently contradicts his stated beliefs and those of many of his colleagues, not least the newspaper that he works for? Why would take an inconsistent position so contrary to their natural impulses and demonstrated beliefs? It's leftist political correctness. The answer is in the title of his article (I just have to add 2 words of explanation): HATE for America -- even if she has nothing to do with these Danish cartoons at all! Here's the tip-off from CDQ --
We, the undersigned journalists and media organizations, oppose the move to amend the Bill of Rights of the Philippine Constitution and condemn government efforts to curtail the democratic space.
The Malacanang-appointed Constitutional Commission has proposed amending Section 4 of the Philippine Constitution’s Bill of Rights, to wit: “No law shall be passed abridging the responsible exercise of freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for redress of grievances.”
The addition of the phrase “responsible exercise” undermines these basic rights and raises the specter of whimsical and capricious interpretation by administrations that seek to curb legitimate dissent.
A free press is a cornerstone of a democracy. To qualify its exercise, to put parameters around it, makes it vulnerable to abuse and misuse.
The Arroyo administration has shown a penchant for blaming journalists for its political woes. Whether faced with corruption scandals or anti-insurgency efforts that go awry, it has tried to wriggle out of trouble by using the press as scapegoat. Its often hostile stance toward the Philippine media has exacerbated the dangers faced by journalists in this country.
With 10 journalists murdered in 2005, the Philippines is second only to Iraq as the world’s most dangerous country to practice the profession. To say this government does not inspire confidence in the realm of interpreting “responsible exercise” of press freedom would be an understatement.
Philippine media is not infallible. Journalists in the country have had to struggle with a dearth in opportunities for skills improvement, not to mention harsh and unjust work conditions. There have been many instances of irresponsible, unethical practice of the profession.
These, however, are not sufficient grounds to tamper with a basic democratic right. There are enough laws to ensure a system of redress for those who see themselves wronged by an irresponsible press. Journalists who use their profession to commit crimes are not exempt from the country’s laws.
We believe the media situation reflects the national state of affairs. Philippine media is bedeviled by corruption, by economic injustice, and now by the growing threat of authoritarianism.
The proposed amendment to the Bill of Rights spits on the spirit of that hallowed document. It is not merely the press that is threatened. All Filipinos risk curtailment of their most basic rights by administrations desperate to hold on to power. Certainly, the Arroyo government has shown a dangerous bent to push the limits of executive power in its bid to counter political disenchantment.
The exercise of rights has never endangered Philippine democracy. On the contrary, the Filipino people’s vigorous defense of the freedom of the press, of speech, of expression, and of the right to assembly has served the cause of democracy by holding leaders accountable for their actions. The real menace lies in the curbing of these rights. There lies the road to national perdition.
National Union Of Journalists Of The
... Inday Espina-Varona... Arthur Allad-Iw... Carlos H. Conde... Ma. Cristina V. Rodriguez... Rowena Carranza-Paraan... Jose Torres, Jr.... Ares Gutierrez... Leticia Boniol... Ma. Diosa Labiste... Nestor Philippines , Jr.... Joey Natividad... Grace Albasin... Maureen Japzon... Ayishah Marie S. Muallam... Center For Media Freedom And Responsibility... Zamboanga Journal... Jonathan Mayuga Business Mirror... Jojo Taduran... Romy Zetazate... Davaotoday.Com... Bulatlat... Perfecto Caparas... Rolando Quilaton St. Radio Natin Biñan, Laguna... Raymund Villanueva Kodao Productions... Danilo Arao Up Department Of Journalism Chair, Bulatlat And Ngayon Na, Bayan!-Dzrj... Voltaire F. Domingo Next Pictures Photo Agency... Pinoyweekly... Alexander Martin Remollino Bulatlat... Jojo Lamaria Daily Tribune... Bet Marcelo Freelance Journalist... John L. Silva... Julie S. Alipala Philippine Daily Inquirer... Iris Cecilia Gonzales Businessworld... Mon Acacio Philippine Graphic / Philippine Center For Photojournalism... Elina V. Ramo Nordis Weekly... Kimberlie Quitasol Nordis Weekly... Noel Godinez Nordis Weekly... Desiree Caluza Philippine Daily Inquirer... Burgos For Press Freedom... Jun Tarroza West Zumel Center LeyteExpress... Alejandrino F. Cirera The Filipino-American Community Builder... Elizabeth Manalo... Aquiles Zonio Philippine Daily Inquirer... Daisy C. Gonzales... Cheryll D. Fiel... Germelina A. Lacorte... Bejay C. Absin... Marilou M. Aguirre... Jetty Ayop-Ohaylan... Marieta Baste-Hernani... Grace S. Uddin... Gilbert L. Pacificar... Rolando Pinsoy... Keith Bacongco... Medel Hernani... Barry Ohaylan... Kathleen Okubo Baguio MidlandCourier... Rod Tajon Nordis Weekly... Carmelito Q. Francisco Mindanao Times/Businessworld... Sonia Capio Ngayon Na, Bayan!... Manuel Cayon Business Mirror... A. Mangampo-Ociones Gitnang Luson News Service... Dennis Espada... Peterson Bergado... Leo Palo Iii... Ely Suyom... Pinoyweekly... Bayani S. Abadilla... D’jay Lazaro... Leo Esclanda... Ilang-Ilang Quijano... Ariel Dim Borlongan Balita... Ronald Dizon... Knight Publication , Letran-Calamba... Dabet Castañeda... Pampanga Press Club... Ashley Manabat... Joel M. Sy Egco... Association Of Responsible Media Armed... Isagani Yambot Philippine Daily Inquirer... Juan Sarmiento, Jr. Philippine Daily Inquirer... Bill Formoso Philippine Daily Inquirer... Julie M. Aurelio Philippine Daily Inquirer... College Editors Guild Of The ... Rowell D. Madula Cegp... Jose Cosido Cegp... Gerg Anrol Cahiles Kalasag, Up Diliman... Vijae Alquisola Earist Technozette, Earist... Heide Sarno Heraldo Filipino, Dlsu-Dasmariñas... Michael Pante Matanglawin, Ateneo... Philippines Molina-Fernandez Editor-In-Chief, Business Mirror... Ma. Aleta Nieva People’s Taliba... Jo M. Clemente... Pokus Gitnang Luson... Jay Torres... Lorena Rivera-Villareal... Fred Villareal... Ryan Rosauro... Gina V. Rodriguez Philippine Daily Inquirer-Southern Luzon Bureau... Ester G. Dipasupil Philippine Daily Inquirer-Metro Section... Stephanie N. Asuncion Philippine Daily Inquirer-Metro Section... Carlos V. Jugo... Aubrey Makilan Bulatlat, Silangan Shimbun... Jose Medhina Awad... Florfina Marcelino The Philippine Times, Canada... Philippine Press Council... A. Luis Miguel Toledo Philippine Graphic... Francis Capistrano Businessworld... Tj Burgonio Philippine Daily Inquirer... Louie Jon Sanchez Philippine Graphic... Angel Tesorero Pinoy Weekly... Priam Nepomuceno Malaya... Jhong Dela Cruz Malaya... Ruelle Albert Castro Malaya... Liliana Candelaria Malaya... Alena Flores Manila Standard-Today... Kerlyn Bautista Businessworld... Darwin Amojelar Manila Times... Paul Anthony Isla Businessmirror... Luis Teodoro... Lourdes
The protest has already gone past Denmark to the United States, some Arab protesters saying it’s the US’s role as chief infidel that’s encouraging anti-Muslim attacks of this sort.When the Press begins to play politics like this, we have real reason to worry, I think. My position has been clearly stated in --
Freedom of Religion IS Freedom of Expression
The basic democratic principles that govern this situaation, IMHO, are discussed here.
Danish Cartoons Broke the Muslim Taboo On Idolatry
This is why the Muslims have rioted.
It's Capital Blasphemy Just To Describe the Cartoons
By the way, the editorial cartoon at the top of this post was published in the Los Angeles Times and was in reference to Jews, who did not riot over the "irresponsible journalism" that was blaspheming their famous "Wailing Wall." I adopted it to explain why Conrado de Quiros has become a moral and logical contortionist in this matter, and I predict a flurry of people agreeing with him, because they feel the same way.