atching the detestable scenes of thousands of pissed-off Muslims
destroying lives and property over a mere cartoon
, it's tempting for 'Mericans to saddle-up the high horse, what with our Western values of tolerance and all.
Indeed, if there's anything worth fighting over, the freedom of expression is probably it. The only thing to keep in mind is that while the West largely avoids the Molotov cocktail parties, that same fightbetween tolerance and intolerancehas broken out on this side of the Bosporus, too:
There was Mayor Rudy Giuliani's famous war against the Brooklyn Museum over a painting of the Blessed Virgin, a dispute in which the former mayor argued: "If somebody wants to do that privately and pay for that privately, well, that's what the First Amendment is all about. I mean, you can be offended by it and upset by it, and you don't have to go see it, if somebody else is paying for it. But to have the government subsidize something like that is outrageous."
There's the right-wing witch-hunt of left-wing professors. A leader in this effort, Campus Watch, posts this illuminating quote from a kid at Queens College: "[One professor] suggested that I take classes in the political science department to 'open my mind'-in other words, to CHANGE my views... No thanks."
A court in Britain this week convicted radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri on a series of charges, some of which seem to involve his expressing political views. Those views are undeniably hate-filled, violent, and wacky, but it's unclear that Western values really comport with this criminal charge: "Using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior. On a day before May 27 2004 used threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior with intent to stir up racial hatred, or in circumstance where racial hatred was likely to be stirred up thereby."
And there's the constant stream of protests over movies, songs, textbooks, TV shows, and other stuff that, if it bothers one, could probably just be ignored. One of the most prolific organizations on this beat is the Catholic League, which in recent proclamations has found an episode of "South Park" offensive.
"South Park" is a show that once featured a singing, dancing piece of shit. It was wearing a Santa hat.
Word is that non-Christian turds were deeply offended.