Well, if anyone who reads this blog has been keeping up with what's going on in the world, you might have heard about the recent problems caused by the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, which decided to solicit and publish certain cartoon images that have offended many within the Muslim ummah (worldwide family of believers). Many editorials have defended the publishing of these cartoons on the basis that it is simply "freedom of speech" being exercised and insinuated that Muslims who are offended should just "get a life", in so many words. Last night, I came across this entry on Dr. Khaled Batarfi's blog. It's the best article that I've seen on this controversy. I left this comment for him and I then I decided to post it here too.
I am no expert on such matters but here is how I see it:
Even though newspapers perform a public service, they are first and foremost corporations. Their goal is to make money. Conflicts generate business for newspapers because even people with no interest in politics are drawn to find out about current events due to their curiosity.
The Danish newspaper that started this ruckus is not new to their business. They knew full well what the likely reaction to these cartoons would be.
Just a few months ago, the world dealt with a "trial run" of a similar type when American news media reported that guards in the Guantanamo Bay prison had flushed a Qu'ran down the toilet. That controversy led to riots and resulted in the death of fifteen individuals before the story was retracted.
With that barely in the shadows, this newest event was orchestrated. So, when the riots and bigotry escalate, who will profit from it all? Why, the very people who started it, of course! The newspapers who can gleefully hide behind "freedom of speech" as an excuse for their violence-baiting. In the end, it's not about anything more than generating an income for themselves even if it's at the expense of those who act before they stop and notice who's yanking on the strings that control them.