Saturday, 22 September 2012

Worlds Apart?

The decision by Charlie Hedbo to publish inflamatory cartoons about Mohammed in the current enviroment was crass. While it could be potrayed as a defence of free speach it is a feeble one. Deborah Orr is right to highlight the vast arrogance being demonstrated.
However her message that the west and the Islamic world should leave one another alone is problematic, if superficially attractive. Firstly these are not two seperate worlds. Where should a British Muslim stand? Taking it further neither the west nor the Islamic world are in themselves homogneous. The Guardian editorial today highlights that two Islamist parties in Egypt have distanced themselves from the recent protests. It is a long time since an artist was charged with blasphamey in Britain but not so in Russia.
The reality is that we are hugely interlinked and diverse. Understanding and responding to why some parts of the Islamic world are ealily gavanised into violent protest by what seem trivial slights would be a sensible start.