02 Mar 2006

The Real Reason the Western Media Censored the Cartoons

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Wretchard reflects on Tim Blair‘s observation that the Danish cartoons were more widely published in Islamic countries than in Canada, New Zealand or Australia, and went unpublished by a single major US daily, and concludes that the media’s self-censorship wasn’t really occasioned by fear of Islamic violence.

I think the real reason for the reluctance among Anglospheric publications to print the Danish cartoons was less timidity than the fear of tacitly repudiating the underlying assumption of the President Bush’s War on Terror, that the West is not at war with Islam but only with a small group of extremists who have corrupted “the religion of peace”. The Danish cartoons threatened to convert this limited war into a more general confrontation between the value systems of the West and Islam…

Once the Danish cartoon crisis threatened to knock the props out from under President Bush’s limited war on Islamic renegades and escalate it to a “clash of civilizations” the barrenness of the Lefist intellectual cupboard became obvious even to themselves. There was no recipe to deal with this contingency. A “clash of civilizations” would pull matters from their grasp precisely because they refused to touch it in the first place. They could only continue to pretend Islamism didn’t exist; and so they thrust their heads into the sand even further. The Danish cartoons? What cartoons?

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