Campus Intoonfada The Right Way

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A student forum at the University of California-Irvine on free speech displayed three of the notorious Danish cartoons of Muhammad yesterday. They also displayed three anti-semitic cartoons from Arab newspapers for comparison. Vigorous free speech was exercised by both sides in the controversy, but no one was threatened with beheading. The UC-Irvine administration commendably did not interfere with the forum.

"We're here to protect the First Amendment rights to free speech, and do so in way that's safe and secure," said UCI Dean of Students Sally Peterson in the Orange County Register.

The UC-Irvine's administration's support of free speech contrasts quite well with the cowardly behavior of the board of the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign student newspaper which earlier in February suspended two editors for running the cartoons.

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  1. “The difference, C3PO, is that when you beat a Wookie, he rips off your arms.

  2. The premise of intoonfada is similar to that of “The Odd Couple.”
    It gets boring pretty quickly.

  3. So who’s the slob and who’s the finicky one?

  4. Even slobs have a sensitive side sometimes.

  5. Read Leviticus again.

    I’m guessing the Jews are the Felixes. Felices?

  6. Oh oh, here we go.

  7. Vigorous free speech was exercised by both sides in the controversy, but no one was threatened with beheading.

    So, criticizing Mohamed is the same as passing blood libels about Jews? The one side of the controversy is offended Muslims and the other side is of course the Jews? Why is one related to the other? It wasn’t the Jews who ran the cartoons. Because a newspaper is running cartoons that some Muslims find offensive, it should therefore run cartoons that are offensive to Jews. Why not run offensive racial cartoons? Why do we have to automatically kick the Jews to make up for offending the Muslims?

  8. I’m going to have to agree with Jaybird.

    If Oscar’s bedroom is the Gaza Strip and Felix (Israel) is always having to go in there and clean it up…

    But wait…who are the Danes then?

  9. Why not run offensive racial cartoons? Why do we have to automatically kick the Jews to make up for offending the Muslims?

    Excellent question. The answer is: because university officials aren’t worried that the Jews will burn down half of Los Angeles.

  10. “Why not run offensive racial cartoons? Why do we have to automatically kick the Jews to make up for offending the Muslims?”

    I don’t know that running the anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim cartoons necessarily posits a moral equivalency between the two. If anything it may show how intemperate the antisemetic cartoons really can get, while the comparatively mild depections of the Prophet can be indexed to the violent reactions in the Muslim world. If anything it shows the moral superiority of those Jews worldwide (and lets not forget, those Muslims in America, who have had no violent protests) over the Islamist crazies.

  11. Why not run offensive racial cartoons? Why do we have to automatically kick the Jews to make up for offending the Muslims?

    Could it be because anti-black cartoons aren’t the ones that are running in the hometown newspapers of those Middle Eastern folks rioting in the ‘intoonfada’? Really, it doesn’t seem that difficult a concept to grasp. The total exhibit is far more informative than merely showing the Danish cartoons.

  12. If anything it shows the moral superiority of those Jews worldwide

    Or at least that they have better things to do with their time than riot over cartoons.

  13. >>The UC-Irvine’s administration’s support of
    >>free speech contrasts quite well with the
    >>cowardly behavior of the board of the
    >>University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
    >>student newspaper which earlier in February
    >>suspended two editors for running the cartoons.

    Is it support for free speech or is it security in the knowledge that the largely affluent, conservative, Republican, “W in 04!”-type community that surrounds the campus isn’t likely to complain too much about the event in question? History is filled with too many examples of bureaucrats adhering to principle only when it is convenient to do so.

  14. As a recent UCI alum, and a resident of the surrounding community, the last comment rings false. The UCI administration shut down an affirmative action bake sale a few years ago in a ham-handed fashion, and looked very foolish in the process. Perhaps more germane to this protest, the Muslim Student Assoc. at UCI has a long history of anti-semitic and anti-Israel programming and invited speakers who preach the radical Islamist party line. The administration would have looked pretty bad if they had interfered in a display of the cartoons while deferring to free expression in the past for the MSA.

  15. Or at least that they have better things to do with their time than riot over cartoons.

    Yeah, like control the mass media in America, and uh, secretly run the world.

    yeah, it’s a joke

  16. DW,

    Even if probably@2:56pm’s assessment is incorrect, what you describe still seems to indicate that there is more to the lack of interference than a simple appeal to the principle of free speech. Not only does interference in free speech that has occured in the past cast doubt on such an appeal (http://www.thefire.org/index.php/article/15.html, http://www.thefire.org/index.php/schools/222), but the controversial nature of the cartoon issue, and the television cameras bound to be attracted by it, provide a perfect public relations opportunity. Probably@2:56pm might be incorrect as to who exactly the administration is attempting to appeal to, however, there still seems to be a valid question raised: was the lack of interference motovated by higher principles, or simple realist politics?

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