More to Life

Is the pen mightier than the sword..?

A war is raging….

Instead of it being your modern day “Hearts and Minds” battle, this war is between Faith and Freedom. Two utopian ideologies that can flare a jovial jibe into an all out fist fight. In the Blue Corner we have the Journalists, whilst in the Red Corner we have the Muslim Faith. Neither contender can see eye to eye over the current scandal that might result in another split of the global social structure.

Whose side are you on?

Tough question, eh? Well, let me lay the facts on the table and then I’ll pass you the dice to figure your next move… The whole dilemma started when on the 30th September 2005 caricatures of the prophet Mahomet were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. It’s problematic because the Muslim faith prohibits representations of its prophet and the caricatures pictured him as a terrorist. Several ambassadors from the Muslim world then requested a meeting with the Danish Prime minister who declined.

It then spread to the whole Islamic world when in January several countries, lead by Libya, threatened to close their embassies in Denmark. Then, several newspapers from around Europe (including Liberation and Charlie Hebdo in France) published the caricatures claiming the freedom of the press and freedom of expression. This is when it exploded and Danish and other embassies were attacked and burned down in Iran, Lebanon, and Syria.

Needless to say, the tension between the West and the Middle East is high.

I think that what a lot of people are missing in this double edged sword story, is the fact that the pictures appeared way back in September, yet the main media coverage only appeared in January. Why the delay? Didn’t anyone see the smoke on the horizon?? After all, where there’s smoke, there’s sure to be fire.

Now is not the time to argue! The United Nations Security Council is currently in negotiations with Iran investigating its nuclear capacities, and Denmark is up next for Presidency of the Council in June. A slight disagreement there and the world could be staring at another Bay of Pigs stand off.

The fat is in the fire and some of us don’t eat bacon.

I used to admire skateboarding and music as areas without boundries. Any one can play an instrument and anyone can ride a board. But, when I hear about the classroom bickering of magazine editors and advertisers over jokes about sexuality, it makes no sense.

We preach freedom everyday like we pledge allegiance to our culture. A misplaced joke can sow the seed of separation. Someone said there’s an element of truth in every joke, but I guess it all depends on who’s telling it….

Maxwell Woodger Esq – Friday, 15 February 2006