What the Texas Cartoon Event Was, and Wasn’t, About

It wasn’t about needlessly provoking or offending people, nor cultural arrogance. It was about some long overdue cultural assertiveness.

The “cultural arrogance” is that of those who want to kill cartoonists in the name of blasphemy laws which the cartoonists don’t subscribe to. That’s the infliction of one culture over another which liberals should be fulminating against, but seldom do.

Every western outlet that refused to publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons back in December was catering to Islamic blasphemy laws, and every western citizen who is now criticizing the Texas cartoon event is doing the same.

We don’t criticize the Broadway play, The Book of Mormon, for outrageously decimating the Mormon faith. No: we praise a song like this as pure genius. (And bust our guts laughing.)

And we certainly don’t summon liberal outrage over “hateful” and “religiously demeaning” cartoons like the following, which shows Moses high-fiving Jesus as they’re jacked off by Ganesha, who in turn pounds Buddha up the ass:

religious satire

The Texas cartoon event wasn’t about needless offense or arrogance. It was about reinforcing a basic principle that is widely acknowledged by all the world’s faiths save one. Personally, I’m all for self-restraint and respecting another group’s sensibilities. But not when it’s the self-restraint of fear, and not when that group is continually accommodated by a different standard.

The event wasn’t even about drawing Muhammad per se. It’s simply that drawing Muhammad is a point where Islam draws the line, and so that’s the obvious place where First Amendment advocates like Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller make their stand. They should be applauded for doing so. Faulting them for being too provocative is as gross as blaming loosely-dressed rape victims. If there are Muslims who resent their faith being ridiculed, then tough rocks. It’s up to them to join the rest of the world — and to learn the virtues of real tolerance in a genuinely pluralistic society.

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