On Friday Kevin Drum had trouble taking the issue seriously because the Islamic radicals were burning the Danish flag:
I fully realize that I should be taking this more seriously — it involves issues of free speech, national sovereignty, gratuitous religious insults, Islamic radicalism, etc. etc. — but it's hard. I mean, just look at whose flag they're burning in the Middle East right now: Denmark's.
Cuddly little Denmark! Home of Hans Christian Andersen, delicious pastry, and tasteful furniture. Home of Tivoli and the Little Mermaid. Denmark!
On Sunday he wrote:
…a reader wants to know what my serious take is on the Danish cartoon affair. Here it is: I think the press has an absolute right to print those cartoons. But you knew that already.
Huffington Post has one blog post on the subject from Thomas De Zengotita that shows confusion from the progressives on the issue:
My question is: where do American progressives stand on this? In one way, we have looked to Europe as an ally against Bush and all he stands for in Iraq and the "War on Terror," right? Haven't we felt supported every step of the way by European countries condemning those policies? Hasn't there been a sort of agreement about Bush, that primitive cowboy, the Europeans agree with us and we with them, about that, us enlightened ones together? But don't we also conveniently forget that, for example, France won't let Muslim school girls go to school with head scarves? That's just one example of actual European responses to Islam that don't quite fit with our multicultural version of what "progressive" means. Are we busy avoiding that whole side of this issue? For good tactical reasons, of course.
So, without going on and on analyzing the dilemma, let me sum it up with this way; will progressive American publications republish those cartoons? If they do, how will they explain it? If they don't, how will they explain it?
Juan Cole has the most classic leftist take on the issue I have read yet. Among other things, he writes,
Of course people are upset when their sacred figures are attacked! But the hurt is magnified many times when the party doing the injuring is first-world, and the injured have a long history of being ruled, oppressed and marginalized.
His final paragraph sums up his multiculturalist approach:
UPDATE: I thank Michelle Malkin for linking to this post.
Human beings are all alike. Where they are distinctive, it comes out of a special set of historical circumstances. The Muslims are protesting this incident vigorously, and consider the caricatures insupportable. We would protest other things, and consider them insupportable.