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Joe Carter Spells It Out

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From the AP, courtesy of the New York Times:

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — NATO peacekeepers exchanged fire with protesters who attacked their base Tuesday in the second straight day of violent demonstrations in Afghanistan over the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, Afghan officials said. One demonstrator was killed and dozens wounded.

In neighboring Pakistan, 5,000 people chanting ”Hang the man who insulted the prophet” burned effigies of one cartoonist and Denmark’s prime minister. And a prominent Iranian newspaper said it was going to hold a competition for cartoons on the Holocaust in reaction to European newspapers publishing the prophet drawings.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the West’s publication of the Prophet Muhammad cartoons was an Israeli conspiracy motivated by anger over the victory of the militant Hamas group in the Palestinian elections last month. ”The West condemns any denial of the Jewish holocaust, but it permits the insult of Islamic sanctities,” Khamenei said.

Read the whole thing. The cartoons have become exactly the sort of propaganda bonanza that jihadists have hoped for.

Did their publication help or hinder the GWOT?

From Joe Carter:

I myself prefer another grouping of ‘us and them.’I do not support the cartoonists nor do I support the violent Muslim protestors. Like Milton, I prefer to stand with the good men who ‘love freedom heartily'(unlike the jihadists) and apart from those who embrace license (as the cartoonists have done)….

When I joined the Marines I swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, including the rights to free speech and a free press. For fifteen years I stood ready to take up arms or, if necessary, to lay down my life in the defense of these foundations of liberty. I believe in protecting the freedom of speech, whether it comes from terrorist-wannabes like Ted Rall, know-nothing pundits like Joel Stein, or religious-bashing Danish cartoonists. I believe that, like religious liberty, this is a divinely permitted freedom that demands due vigilance.

But just once I’d like to be called upon to champion speech that is true, honorable, just, and pure. Just once I’d like to defend a freedom that wasn’t vulgar, degraded, and profane. Just once I’d like to defend freedom that aspired to the ideals of Thomas Jefferson rather than to the inclinations of Larry Flynt.

Carter’s blog at EvangelicalOutpost is perhaps the best written “crossover” blog, moving effortlessly from politics to theology to culture. Perhaps because Joe put his 16 years into the USMC and many more into newspapers.

Any online edition of a paper would be very smart to try and draft him away from the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity. Or at least to work out a time-share with the Center.


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