Friday, February 03, 2006

More Contempt For Amendment I

The Bush administration, which wouldn't know the First Amendment from first base, has issued a statement condemning the recent publication of a cartoon Muslims found offensive because it depicts Mohammed. That by itself is blasphemy, according to the imams, but worse, they portrayed him as a fellow with a bomb in his bonnet.

I could go on about the meaning of freedom of the press including the right to be offensive, especially to the Muslim mob; surprisingly enough, I agree wholehartedly with this New Republic Online article, to a limited extent, which rightly castigates Bill Clinton for his wrongheaded support of the outraged Muslims. If the West has accomplished anything since the days of the Praetorian Guard, it is this: nobody's idea of piety should be taken as law over empirical fact. That the Muslims still can't grasp this -- when was the last time you heard of a Nobel laureate in the sciences from Cairo? -- is testamony to their blinkered worldview. But that men such as Clinton, and Bush's henchmen, both of whom ought to know better, should issue condemnations for the works of such wits is preposterous.

Update: More on this at Reason, whose Tim Cavanaugh has published his usually clear-headed commentary.