Saturday, January 10, 2015

France has indeed done a poor job of integrating Muslims; Catholic League points out the flip side of the free speech debate; it gets more personal


First, on the issue of publishing the vicious satire of the “cartoons”.  I could stand with Smerconish on CNN and say that if all major media outlets publish them, then no one would stand out as an “Outlier” or worse. 
   
But I also feel, in the grand scheme of things, that some of the cartoons in the Islamic world might be like throwing around the “n” word (for Dr. Martin Luther King or even our president) or the “fa_” word (applied to heroes like Leonardo Da Vinci or Alan Turing) in our world in the West.  Possibly it’s a “terms of service” issue.  It (republishing the cartoons) isn’t something that I would normally do, because we do have norms of civility online.
   
Indeed, the Catholic League wrote a blog post “Charlie Hebdo perverts freedom”, here.   Does freedom serve society, or does society serve freedom?
   
Thinkprogress, on Facebook, was properly critical of this post, here.
   
It is true that Muslims seem very poorly integrated in France, and face (in practice) discrimination greater than that of African-Americans today in the US.  They aren’t given a lot of incentive to “play by the rules”.  Brookings has a paper on this here, as does “Euro-Islam” here.
   
But sometimes this gets personal, like it or not.  On Twitter, Chess Quotes has been making a lot of “revolutionary” tweets – and I don’t think chess should be politicized to promote communism or anything else, and I don’t call for “socialist revolution” myself, but the last part of the tweet below got my attention.
  
“A third world socialist revolution must be capable of revolutionizing the way citizens across society see themselves and their role.” 
   
Note – “see themselves”.  My therapists at NIH in 1962 overloaded that phrase.  

Update:  CNN continues to do the most detailed coverage of events in France, including nationwide demonstrations Sunday, after all three gunmen were killed in two separate confrontations with police.  All police in France have been told to remain armed, and to delete their own social media profiles.  The latter is rather alarming, although members of the military have practically were told the same in the US in October, 2014.  

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