February 11, 2006


Rudy Giuliani Was a Prophet, Too (Jarrett Murphy, February 10, 2006, Village Voice)

The only thing to keep in mind is that while the West largely avoids the Molotov cocktail parties, that same fight—between tolerance and intolerance—has 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."

Which misses the point entirely. Muslims should be intolerant of such speech -- as we are -- the intolerance just shouldn't take the form of rioting indiscriminately.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 11, 2006 9:09 PM

I thought Rudy Giuliani was right then and I still think he is right. It is one thing for an artist to make his work of art on his own dime. It is quite another for the artist to make a work of art that is clearly antithetical to the religious beliefs of the majority of the people funding the work without their permission and then having the city institution then use that work as a key feature in a major exhibit, all paid by the people who would be most insulted by the work and without consulting them. Then to have the institution claim that the government was infringing on the first amendment rights of the artist to express his ideas which is what the museum did goes way beyond what should be permissible.

If the artist wanted to fund the work himself or have it funded by a private party and then have that party sponsor the exhibit, that would be one thing. To force the public to fund the work and then fund the exhibition of that which is totally a kick in the teeth of the public and then after all that lecture the public that they should be proud to show their support for the artist goes way beyond the pale in my opinion. I for one do not appreciate being called a Philistine by my "betters" because I do not appreciate having my religion dissed by some artist that I don't think is very talented.

Posted by: dick at February 11, 2006 11:50 PM

So you're volunteering your services as tactical advisor to the headchoppers. Haven't we already collected a bunch of your kind down at Gitmo?

Posted by: joe shropshire at February 12, 2006 12:05 PM


Some heads need chopping.

Posted by: oj at February 12, 2006 1:08 PM

Note how the Left here sees little or no difference between peaceful protests and violent, murderous riots. I suppose it's consistent with viewing verbal disagreement as the equivalent of physical assualt.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at February 12, 2006 3:09 PM