Thursday, February 09, 2006

EU To Censor Press?

This is a bad move-

LONDON (Reuters) - The European Union may try to draw up a media code of conduct to avoid a repeat of the furor caused by the publication across Europe of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, an EU commissioner said on Thursday.

In an interview with Britain’s Daily Telegraph, EU Justice and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini said the charter would encourage the media to show “prudence” when covering religion.

“The press will give the Muslim world the message: We are aware of the consequences of exercising the right of free expression,” he told the newspaper. “We can and we are ready to self-regulate that right.”

In other words, there will be no freedom of the press to cover religion- and I find it somewhat disturbing that this measure is aimed at placating Muslim sensibilities. The consequences of exercising our free speech seems to be violence and threats of terrorist atrocities- and the EU is giving in to that threat. Doesn't this go against the grain of the European Declaration of Human Rights? Or is that to be altered so that Islam can never be criticised?

One of the forged cartoons printed called Mohammed a paedophile. This was obviously a reference to his marriage to Aisha- a marriage begun when she was six years old and which was consummated when she was nine years old. And he was fifty one. Obviously the thought of a fifty one year old having sex with a nine year old girl is deeply disturbing.

For an infidel newspaper to discuss this matter would no doubt infuriate the Muslim world- but is their offence a good enough reason to not discuss matters like this? What if a paper wanted to print "The Prosecution's Case Against Islam", which offers a statistical analysis of the content of verses from the Koran? The result of the study showed that 52.7% of the verses aimed hatred at infidels. Could a newspaper under these new guidelines actually try to create a debate about whether or not Islam truly is a "Religion of Peace" under these new conditions? Or would howls of protest from Muslims claiming that their faith was being defamed prevent the article?

Has the code of conduct for the press ever been moderated to prevent Jews or Christians from being offended? Why now? Why do Muslims deserve to have their sensibilities placed above the freedom of the press? Why is a religion being held up higher than the most crucial ideal of freedom of speech?

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